Mass or Maas [German]

In German, one set of meanings of the word “Mass” (or “Maß”) is measure, size, dimension, volume, extent, standard.  It is also the name of various units, but with various spellings, including Maas. Another related unit is the Mässchen.

This entry deals with the smaller units of capacity, in the range of 0.5 to 2 liters, usually but not always liquid capacity. The much larger units of capacity (at least 15 liters and up to more than 600 liters) are treated under Mäss.

1

In Austria, ? – 19th century, a unit of liquid capacity, = 4 Seidel = 1/40 Eimer. Also called a Kanne. Article 4 of the law1 establishing the metric system in Austria specified that the Wiener Mass was equivalent to 1.414724 liters (about 1.5 U.S. liquid quarts). A later commercial source2 says about 1.415015 liters.

1. Gesetz of 23 July 1871, R.G.B 1872, No. 16. The law is reproduced in
Georg Thaa.
Das Mass- und Gewichtwesen und der Richdienst in Österreich.
Volume 13 of Taschenausgabe de österreichischen Gesetze.
Vienna: Munz'sche k. u. k. Hof- Verlags- und Universitats-Buchhandlung, 1900.

2. Nelkenbrecher (1890), page 861.

2

In Switzerland, ? – 19th century, a unit of liquid capacity, equal to the volume occupied by 3 Pfund of distilled water at its maximum density, 1.5 liters (about 1.36 U.S. liquid quarts). Also called a pot. 1 Mass = 4 Viertelmass or Schoppen. 100 Mass = 1 Saum or Ohm.

Nelkenbrecher (1890), page 761.

3

Liquid Capacity
Locale Equivalents & Comments Liters Source
Aix-la-Chapelle = 1/104 aime 1.330 D, p. 253
       
       
       
Baden = 1/100 Ahm = 10 Glas 1.5  
Bavaria 43 cu zoll legal or commercial = 1/60 Eimer = 4 Quartel 1.069  
Moravia   1.069  
Württemberg Hellaichmass 1.857  
Trübaichmaas
167 Hellaichmass = 160 Trübaichmass
1.917  
Schenkmass
10 Hellaichmass = 11 Schenkmass
1.670  

4

Various locations for which we have barebones data:

Dry Capacity
Locale Equivalents and Comments Liters Source
Anspach = 1/16 Metze. For rye and wheat. 1.321 D, p. 257
= 1/18 small Metze. For barley and oats. 1.084
Bavaria = 3/104 Metze    
Altona, Hamburg Gross Mass = 1/16 Himt = 2 kleine Mass 1.648 D, p. 257
Kleine Mass 0.824
Leipzig Küchenmass, used for flour, = ½ old Metze 2.549 D, p. 257
Nurnberg = 1/16 Metze. For wheat, rye, peas, lentils. =  1.243 D, p. 257 
= 1/16 Metze. For oats, barley, spelt. 1.149
Weimar = 2 Nößel. Also called a Kanne. 1.040 D, p. 258
Württemberg = 1/40 Zuber, for charcoal and lime. Same capacity as the Hellaichmass 1.837 D, p. 258

Key to sources: D = Doursther

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