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Daniel Fahrenheit joined the British Royal Society in the early 1700s, and the Fahrenheit scale quickly spread throughout the British empire.
300 years ago scientist Daniel Fahrenheit invented a temperature measurement — donning his last name.
At the time, people knew it was either hot or cold, but, there was no official way to mark degrees.
Once Fahrenheit came up with the blueprint for the modern thermometer, using mercury — he needed a labeling system to distinguish between temperatures.
That’s when he came up with the Fahrenheit scale.
Fahrenheit joined the British Royal Society in the early 1700s, and the Fahrenheit scale quickly spread throughout the British empire.
But there was one kink in Fahrenheit’s system. On the scale, he marked 32 degrees as the point where water freezes, and used the static temperature of the human body as another fixed point at 96 degrees — then he marked one last point at 212 degrees where water would come to a boil.
It was an acceptable method then, because it was the only method. That was until astronomer Anders Celsius invented a temperature measurement unit bearing his last name in 1742.
Under Celsius, zero degrees is freezing and 100 degrees is boiling.
The Celsius method is now used in all but a few countries, including America and its territories, Palau, the Cayman Islands, Belize, the Bahamas, the Marshall Islands, and the federated states of Micronesia.
In most other countries, Celsius is more compatible with the widely used metric system as both are based in multiples of 10.
The answer to why the U.S. still uses Fahrenheit is simple: because it wants to.
A law was signed in the 70s making the metric system, and Celsius an option, but workers in big industries, like manufacturing were used to the imperial system and pushed back against changing the infrastructure — so, they didn’t. And Congress has chosen to keep the law voluntary.
Whether the temperature will change on that remains to be seen.
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