:: The 1799 Final Standards ::
The 10 December 1799 Act

Talleyrand, at the National Institute's request, invited neutral and allied countries to take part in setting Final standards in June 1798, when the operations were coming to an end.

The following countries sent representatives: Denmark, the Batavian Republic (Van Swiden), the Helvetian Republic (Trallès), Sardinia, Tuscany (Fabbroni), the Ligurian Republic, the Cisalpine Republic, the Roman Republic, Spain.

The French representatives were: Borda, Brisson, Coulomb, Darcet, Delambre, Haüy, Lagrange, Lefèvre-Gineau and Prony.

The scientists' committee sanctionned the results in Paris in April and May 1799:
•The Dutch Van Swinden reported in April that the earth's quadrant measurements finished by Delambre and Méchain in 1798 led to set the Final Metre length to 3 feet 11.296 lignes of the Toise de l'Académie;
• The Swiss Trallès reported in May that the measurements made by Lefèvre-Gineau and Fabbroni led to set the Final Kilogramme weight to 18,827.15 grains of the average marc of the Pile de Charlemagne.

Later on, in June 1799, a delegation of the National Institute of Science and Arts presented to the Legislative Body - Conseil des Cinq-Cents and Conseil des Anciens - the prototype standards of the Metre and Kilogramme. They were deposited in the National Archives on the same day.

The presentation minutes were signed by fifteen scientists, of which nine Foreign States delegates, and by Lenoir and Fortin.

The 10 December 1799 Act ratified these operations:

"The metre length, being the ten-millionth part of the earth's quadrant situated between the North pole and the Equator, is definitely set to 3 feet 11.296 lignes. The platinum metre and kilogramme that were presented to the legislative body by the National Institute of Science and Arts on the 23 June are the final length and weight measures standards in all France."

The standards are made of platinum that is produced by Janety, a chemist. The metre is an end measure, a rectangular section flat ruler that is fitted by Lenoir. The kilogramme is a diametre-high cylinder that is fitted by Fortin.


They are known as the Mètre des Archives and the Kilogramme des Archives.

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