paper sizes in the United States
19th century

In 1849 J. M. Scribner published the following list in his Scribner's Engineers' and Mechanics' Companion, 9th ed. (page 12). Notice the biggest size, fully 10 feet long, is named “Uncle Sam”. Was this a poke at the Imperial, Royal and Super-Royal sizes of Europe? This name was one of the earlier references to this symbol of the U.S. government.

Name of size Dimensions in inches
Wove Antique 52 31
Uncle Sam 48 120
Double Elephant 40 26
Emperor 40 60
Atlas 32 26
Colombier 33¾ 23
Elephant 27¾ 23¼
Imperial 29 21¼
Super-royal 27 19
Royal 24 19
Medium 22 18
Demy 19 15½

An article in the March 1854 issue of Scientific American listed the following sizes:

Name of Size Dimensions
in inches
Foolscap 14 by 17
Crown 15 by 20
Folio Post 16 by 21
Demy 17 by 22
Medium 19 by 24
Royal 20 by 25
Super Royal 22 by 27
Imperial 22 by 32
Medium and Half 24 by 28½
Royal and Half 25 by 29
Double Medium 24 by 38
Double Medium Super Royal 27 by 42
Double Medium Imperial 32 by 44

An advertisement by the Crane Brothers, Westfield, Mass., 1876:

facsimile of advertisement

Note the difference in the sizes of reams, and that 23×34 is called “Columbier” as bank ledger, but “Columbia” as linen lined ledger. On the right, “Boyal” is a misprint for “Royal”.

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