A quantity of sheets of paper, ¹⁄₂₀th of a ream. Abbreviation, qr. Until well into the 20th century, a quire of writing paper contained 24 sheets, and a quire of printing paper 25 sheets. In England, 19th century, a “quire outsides” contained 20 imperfect sheets, some of which might even be torn.¹
1. Alfred J. Martin.
Up-to-date Tables of Imperial, Metric, Indian and Colonial Weights and Measures…
London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1904.
Notes upon the bale of Paper
The bale of paper is 10 reames of paper; euery reame hathe 20 quyrs of paper; euery quyre hathe 25 sheettes.
British Museum: MS Reg. 18 C. XX (1590-1620). Folio 18b.
A Quyre is 25 Sheetes; a Reame, 20 Quyre; a Bale, 10 Reame.
British Museum: MS Harl. 5769 (1682)
Every quire of paper consists of twenty-four or twenty-five sheets; that is, the larger number refers to paper made use of in printing: and each ream contains 20 quires.
The Book of Trades, or Library of Useful Arts. Part III.
London, 1804 or early 1805.
The first American edition (Philadelphia, 1807) was reprinted by Dover Publications in 1992 as Early Nineteenth-Century Crafts and Trades. Page 59.
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Last revised: 3 April 2011.