# Why do English volume units use base 2?

I would post this on Quora, since it is more of a "just wondering" sort of question, except that I much prefer StackExchange's platform:

• As weird as Imperial units generally are, English volume units surprisingly make a lot of sense. I'm thinking there must be a reason for this... is there?

Examples:

• 1 cup = 8 fluid ounces
• 1 pint = 2 cups (16 fluid ounces)
• 1 quart = 2 pints (32 fluid ounces)
• 1 gallon = 4 quarts (128 fluid ounces)

Compared to some other craziness in the world of non-SI units, these make a ton of sense:

• They are all base-2 multiples, which is really easy for converting one unit to another, and for easily covering the "space of interest" (i.e., you'll never need to say 0.031 gallons, since you can instead say 4 fl. oz).
• Even the names are suggestive / helpful:
• a quart is a quarter of a gallon.

Was there a royal scientists or some-such academic responsible for this lack of insanity?

• Furthermore, has there been a common term for 64 ounces that disappeared or was it skipped; in any case, why?
– Ben
Oct 14, 2016 at 21:26
• @ben: 2 quarts is one pottle; 2 pottles is one gallon, according to one list of English volume units. I've heard elsewhere more volume units based on the binary system: 2 mouthfuls is one jigger, 2 jiggers is one jack, 2 jacks is one jill (or gill), 2 jills is one cup, etc. Oct 25, 2016 at 0:41