Measurement, Instrumentation, and Alcohol Standards
This chapter argues that the economic implications and impact of the hydrometer can only be understood by examining the work that went into making it robust and trusted. The focus is on the impact of gauging by this instrument on the constitution and production of spirits. The story of the development and adoption of the hydrometer by the Board of Excise reveals that instruments designed for economic purposes are not unproblematic and need to be considered along with traditional factors such as the profundity of political debates, government policies, the actions of interest groups, and the pattern of social relations when accounting for social, economic, or technological change.
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