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The platinum-iridium cylinder (right) was the primary standard kilogram for all metric measurements in the U. S. Known as Kilogram No. 20, it was a copy of the International Prototype Kilogram, which was preserved at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures at Sevres, France. Kilogram No. 4 (left, under double bell jar), a duplicate of No. 20, was used as a secondary standard. Noth cylinders were 39 mm in diameter and 39 mm. high; they were made of 90 percent platinum and 10 percent iridium. Re-comparison of Kilogram No. 20 with the international standard in 1937 showed that the United States standard had changed by only one part in 50 million during approximately 50 years.
|Source||National Institute of Standards and Technology|
|Author||National Institute of Standards and Technology|
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