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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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8115. STANDARD (Measures), Pendulum.—[continued].
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8115. STANDARD (Measures), Pendulum.—[continued].

In favor of the standard
to be taken from the time employed in a revolution
of the earth on its axis, it may be urged
that this revolution is a matter of fact present
to all the world, that its division into seconds
of time is known and received by all the world,
that the length of a pendulum vibrating seconds
in the different circles of latitude is already
known to all, and can at any time and in any
place be ascertained by any nation or individual,
and inferred by known laws from their own to
the medium latitude of 45°, whenever any doubt
may make this desirable; and that this is the
particular standard which has at different times
been contemplated and desired [464] by the philosophers
of every nation, and even by those of
France, except at the particular moment when
this change was suddenly proposed and adopted,
and under circumstances peculiar to the history
of the moment.—
To John Quincy Adams. Washington ed. vii, 88.
(M. 1817)


If, conforming to this desire of other nations, we
adopt the second pendulum, 3-10 of that for our foot
will be the same as 1-5 or 2-10 of the second rod,
because that rod is to the pendulum as 3 to 2. This
would make our foot 1-4 inch less than the present
one.—Note by Jefferson.