There was a point not all that long ago when schools taught the metric system because it was “just a matter of time” until the United States ditched pounds, miles and inches.
Well, this adaptation has yet to happen, and who knows if it ever will?
“One thing that shocked me was that the first measure that was completely decimalized was the U.S dollar,” says John Bemelmans Marciano, author of “Whatever Happened to the Metric System?“. “And we largely have Thomas Jefferson to thank for that.”
President Jefferson suggested the use of a decimal currency in 1782.
“It took about 100 years for decimals to catch on for everyday transactions,” says Bemelmans Marciano.
Hear the full conversation in the audio player above.
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.