Encyclopedia > Ton

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There are three similar units of mass called the ton or tonne:

  • tonne (SI) or metric ton = 1000 kg (2204 lb.) Abbreviated t.
  • ton or long ton = 1016.047 kg (2240 lb)
  • short ton = 907.185 kg (2000 lb), called a ton in casual use in U.S.

The word ton or tonne is derived from the Old English tunne, and ultimately from the Old French tonne, and referred originally to a large cask with a capacity of 252 gallons, which holds approximately 2016 pounds of water. Such a barrel is still called a tun in British English, but usuage is now dying out.

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The ton is also used as what is technically a measure of volume when measuring ship displacement, or tonnage[?]. The amount of water displaced by a volume of one ton has a mass similar to the tons of mass listed above, 1,132.7 kg or 2497.1 lb.

One ton of volume is equal to:

See 1 E-1 m for a comparison with other volumes, also orders of magnitude (volume).

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