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National institute of standards and technology

The meaning of «national institute of standards and technology»

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a physical sciences laboratory and non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce. Its mission is to promote American innovation and industrial competitiveness. NIST's activities are organized into laboratory programs that include nanoscale science and technology, engineering, information technology, neutron research, material measurement, and physical measurement. From 1901 to 1988, the agency was named the National Bureau of Standards.[4]

The Articles of Confederation, ratified by the colonies in 1781, provided:

The United States in Congress assembled shall also have the sole and exclusive right and power of regulating the alloy and value of coin struck by their own authority, or by that of the respective states—fixing the standards of weights and measures throughout the United States.[5]

Article 1, section 8, of the Constitution of the United States, ratified in 1789, granted these powers to the new Congress: "The Congress shall have power ... To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures".[6]

In January 1790, President George Washington, in his first annual message to Congress, said, "Uniformity in the currency, weights, and measures of the United States is an object of great importance, and will, I am persuaded, be duly attended to."[citation needed] Washington ordered Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson to prepare a Plan for Establishing Uniformity in the Coinage, Weights, and Measures of the United States, later referred to informally as the Jefferson Report.[citation needed]

On October 25, 1791, Washington again appealed Congress:

A uniformity of the weights and measures of the country is among the important objects submitted to you by the Constitution and if it can be derived from a standard at once invariable and universal, must be no less honorable to the public council than conducive to the public convenience.[citation needed]

In 1821, President John Quincy Adams declared, "Weights and measures may be ranked among the necessities of life to every individual of human society."[7].

Nevertheless, it was not until 1838 that the United States government adopted a uniform set of standards.[6]

From 1830 until 1901, the role of overseeing weights and measures was carried out by the Office of Standard Weights and Measures, which was part of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in the Department of the Treasury.[8][9][10]

In 1901, in response to a bill proposed by Congressman James H. Southard (R, Ohio), the National Bureau of Standards was founded with the mandate to provide standard weights and measures, and to serve as the national physical laboratory for the United States. (Southard had previously sponsored a bill for metric conversion of the United States.) [11]

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