stère

In the metric system (but not SI), a special name for the cubic meter when used as a unit of capacity for stacked firewood, but requiring certain dimensions.  Some say it was also applied to stone.

The law of 28 Messidor an VII required that the length of the base of a 1-stère stack be one meter (2-stère, 2 meters; and so on.). The CIPM adopted the unit in 1879.¹ At that time the symbol was “s”; in 1948 the 9th CGPM changed the symbol to “st” (Resolution 7). Not a common unit anymore, though in the Cameroons, the dècastère (= 10 cubic meters) and décistère (= 100 cubic dm) were in use in the 1960s.

The stère was approved for use in the United States by Sec. 2 of the Act of July 28, 1866. In 1982 it was declared no longer acceptable.²

In 1971, the European Economic Community directed that use of this unit cease by 31 December 1977

1. Bureau Internationale des Poids et Mesures.
Proc.-Verb. Com. Int. Poids et Mesures, 1879. Page 41.

2. Federal Register February 26, 1982, 47 fr 8399-8400.

 IEEE/ASTM SI 10™-2002.
American National Standard for Use of the International System of Units (SI): The Modern Metric System.
New York: IEEE, 30 December 2002.

See Section 3.3.3.

3. European Economic Community, Council Directive of 18 October 1971 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to units of measurement (Directive 71/354/EEC), Annex, Chapter III.

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