Well, there were two problems. The first is that 1/4 cup is at two different levels on either side of the cup. You could put that down to some of the ounces being Imperial and the other being American, but frankly, three sets of measurements on one single cup measuring device is one measurement too many especially because that 1/4 cup was too much soy sauce and even the “American” 1/4 cup was off. So finally, I gave up and bought a Pyrex measuring cup but for all I know, it has three sets of measurement on it too.

So if you hold the cup in your right hand — because you’re right-handed — you are going to be looking at the left side of the cup. Which is in Imperial ounces, old-style even if you live in Australia, the U.K. or some other previously British-occupied nation or territory. Does anyone \still use Imperial ounces? Because my previous measuring cup — Pyrex — had just metric and U.S. ounces, but now they seem be having some kind of contest to see how many kinds of measurements they can fit on a glass cup.

DURABLE AND VERSATILE USE: These measuring cups melt, mix, and reheat. Imperial and metric units sit side by side on sturdy, solid glass that ensure you can whisk, beat, and pour in the same place you measure.

It’s shockingly hard to find glass measuring cups at all unless you’re ready to plunk down $25 or more.

Almost everything is plastic. I hate plastic measuring cups. Alternatively, they are made from stainless steel. I already have a stainless set. I don’t use it because they are not transparent. Also, you can’t nuke stainless steel. Well, that’s not exactly true. You can nuke them. After all, they are your cups and you can do whatever you want with them including running them over with a truck. But if you put it in your microwave, it won’t thank you and might stop working. Permanently.

For that matter, you also can’t nuke the plastic ones. To make them even more useless and annoying, you also can’t run the plastic ones through the dishwasher unless you don’t care if they survive longer than a couple of weeks.

Can you tell which ounces are Imperial and which are American? Nor can I.

Speaking of being less than a great kitchen value, Amazon is selling — as measuring cups — sets of glass “beakers.” The beakers are titled “scientific.” Looking at them, several issues come to mind. First, the beakers don’t have handles. Try getting one of them out of the nuker barehanded. Also, to be labeled “scientific,” they are slathered with measurements all of which are on the wrong side of the container for right-handed Americans.

The American-made Anchor-Hocking cups also have the Imperial ounces on the left side. Right-handed Americans are going to be confused, especially as these were made in the U.S. where Imperial ounces have never been an issue. And finally, nowhere on the cup is there any mention of which ounces are which. It’s enough to make you go metric!

So after we all concurred that there was something seriously amiss with the brand new Anchor Hocking set, I bought a new overpriced set of measuring cups that only has U.S. and metric measurements. That should be plenty.

Seriously, who is still using Imperial ounces? Anyone out there still using them? If you’re yearning for Imperial markings, I have a set of glass measuring cups for you.

So here’s the “metric” story.

The French introduced the new measurements everywhere, and they were found practical. The first state outside France to adopt the new system and dump their old weights and measures was Helvetic Republic – today’s Switzerland in 1803. The Swiss are extremely clever. The next to follow was the Netherlands in 1816.

Other European countries quickly saw the assets of a new system and began to standardize their own systems. In many instances, the old units were given new, Metric, values: pound = 500 g, inch = 2, 2.5 or 3 cm etc. The Germans were the first to standardize their old system this way. Baden, in 1810, for example, redefined the Ruthe (rods) as being 3.0 m exactly and defined the subunits of the Ruthe as 1 Ruthe = 10 Fuß (feet) = 100 Zoll (inches) = 1,000 Linie (lines) = 10,000 Punkt (points) while the Pfund was defined as being 500 g, divided into 30 Loth, each of 16.67 g.

It could also go the other way. In August 1814, Portugal officially adopted the metric system using the names of units substituted by traditional Portuguese ones. In this system the basic units were the mão-travessa (hand) = 1 decimetre (10 mão-travessas = 1 vara (yard) = 1 metre), the canada = 1 liter and the libra (pound) = 1 kilogram.

By 1850, most European countries were comfortable enough with the new system to adopt it for everyday use and all adopted it, one by one. Belgium and Luxembourg (1820); Spain (1850s); Italy (1861); Romania (1864); Germany (1872); and Austria-Hungary (1876). Finland put together a Metrication law in 1881 and went fully metric in 1886. Denmark and Iceland adopted the metric system in 1907.

The last European country to fully adopt the new system was Estonia in 1929, ditching the Russian system. Greece completed metrication in 1959. Great Britain waited until 1965 and Canada in 1975. The LAST HOLDOUT is the U.S. for reasons unknown.

Categories: Anecdote, House and home, Humor, Kitchen, online shopping, Shopping

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14 replies

  1. My very very old cup has ml on one side and cups on the other. But it is a doozy swivelling it about to get the measure I need, so I was nodding very vigorously while reading your post.

    I have actually tried to convert to weight measurements as much as I can – much easier just to bung everything in the bowl while it’s on the scale.


    • I finally ended up buying Nutri Chef measuring cups that have JUST American ounces on one side and metrics on the other. But almost ALL the new cups have between three and five types of measurements on them which is wildly confusing and frankly useless in the kitchen. Who needs scientific weights in the kitchen unless they brewing some kind of illegal drugs? The rest of us just want to get the right amount of soy sauce on the fried rice!

      I use my scale too, but you can’t do that with things in a frying pan. Maybe if you’re baking you can weigh the dough, but this is weird and STUPID. I particularly love the handle-free beakers so when you have to take it out of the microwave, you have to use gloves or something else. What a ridiculous problem to create. What was wrong with the measurements they were using?


  2. But I hold the cup in my left hand so I can pour things into it with my dominant right hand!


    • Clever you! Maybe the cup designers are all lefties and are they trying to get back at righties for favoritism???

      I figured out that all these bizarre measurement have no LEGAL use in a kitchen. So are measuring cup designers pandering to people who are brewing meth in their kitchen? I actually can’t think of ANY other reason why anyone would need four or five kinds of measurements on a measuring cup.

      Liked by 1 person

      • But I’m NOT a leftie! I find it safer to pour with the right hand, which has more control!


        • So you just clutch in in your left hand so you can see the readings? It’s STILL conspiracy!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Exactly! No conspiracy — it’s how I learned to do it as a child. As the saying goes, “Try it — you’ll like it!” Using your left hand, hold the measuring cup by the handle Pour whatever you are measuring into the cup using your right hand. The measures will be facing, you, and your control of the pour will be much tighter that when you do it the other way around!


            • I have an even better trick. I put the measuring cup on the counter, pour liquids into it. For the dry stuff, I have plastic measuring cups — they came with the canister — which I use as scoops AND magnetic measuring spoon that are longer than usual and can go deep into the spice jar AND has two ends — round and kind of pointy.

              I drop things these days. I drop lids and paper and pencils. They seem to just fall out of my hands. Garry has the same problem. Since we are unlikely to have the same strange disease, we have to assume is age. I can’t seem to hold on to anything. I don’t think I ever pour anything into anything else unless the thing I’m pouring into is on a solid surface.

              If it is likely to be messy? I do the pouring IN the sink. I know my limits!


  3. I don’t think I ever had a measuring cup with both. I have two now and they have ounces on one side and cups on the other. Since I do a lot by taste or by looks, being a little off would not bother me. Pancake mix and cake batter are usually done when the consistency looks right. I measure to start then add until I like it. I can not say everything comes out just right though, LOL.


    • That’s the way the ALL were, but not today. There is no legal reason why ANYONE needs all these different measurements unless they are brewing drugs in the kitchen. Is that it? Are they all pandering to the meth market? If so, WHY? Are there THAT many meth brewers??

      ALL the older cups have metrics on one side, ounces on the other — OR both on one side. Seriously — IMPERIAL OUNCES? All those countries went metric in the 19th century. The LAST country to go metric — other than the U.S. which stubbornly refuses to cooperate with the rest of the world — was Estonia in 1929!

      Liked by 1 person

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