The formation of metrology as government regulated activity in France
The article has discussed the historical process of development of metrological activity in France. It was revealed that the history of metrology is considered as an auxiliary historical and ethnographic discipline from a social and philosophical point of view as the evolution of scientific approaches to the definition of individual units of physical quantities and branches of metrology. However, in the scientific literature, the little attention is paid to the process of a development of a centralized institutional metrology system that is the organizational basis for ensuring the uniformity of measurements. It was shown that traditionally there are two periods of development of metrology based on the unification of weights and measures: the association under Charlemagne and the introduction of the decimal metric system during the French Revolution. Because this division has a mixed scientific and organizational basis, a new periodization of the development of French metrology from the position of state regulation was proposed. The highlighted stages include the primitive period and the first city-states, the time of the domination of the Roman Empire, the era of the coexistence of many measures, the chapters of Charlemagne, the feudal practices of the Middle Ages, the creation of royal standards under Henry II, the introduction and dissemination of the decimal metric system, the emergence of metrological institutes, laboratories, centers. At the State level the first step in organizing a centralized institutional metrology system was the creation of a testing laboratory, the second was the creation of National Metrological Bureau, national bodies for metrology, and the third was reorganization of the system and appointment of the National Testing Laboratory as the governing metrological body of France. Thus, the French metrology system has experienced many crises and upheavals in the process of its formation. However, France today is one of the most experienced and respected countries in the field of metrology, and at the international level, it was the one who laid the foundations for new metrological agreements, as well as the social, philosophical, scientific, political and geographical area of the new system of measures and weights.
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