Home > History of Wine > A Visual History of Wine Gauging Tables

A Visual History of Wine Gauging Tables


Wine gauging is the measuring and calculation of the volume of wine inside of a cask. It is an important task which is centuries old and of some complexity.  Various methods of calculating the volume have developed over the years and these are often accompanied by mathematical tables to aid in the calculation.  I will write about these methods in depth at some point in the future but as it is the middle of August vacation I am publishing a visual post to make for light reading.  Perhaps you will be looking at this on the beach! This post features many mathematical tables related to wine-gauging. I find they are suitable for close scrutiny and also from an aesthetic point of view. Many wine cellars and stores are decorated with images of old bottles, labels, and maps. Perhaps some of you will be inspired to include these mathematical tables.

“A Table for the Gauging of Wine which are not full” from Phillippes, Henry. A Mathematical Manuel. 1677.

The Inch Table for a Cask in the Form two Cones abutting on a Common Base. From Lightbody, James. Lux stereometriae. 1701.

A Table of Wine-Measure. Everard, Thomas. Stereometry. 1705.

A Table of the Segments of a Circle, whose Area is Unity. From Ward, John. The Young Mathematician’s Guide. 1724.

A Table for Gauging Wine or Oyl in certain Casks.  From A Complete View of the British Customs. Crouch, Henry. A Complete View of the British Customs, Vol 1. 1725.

A Table for Gauging Wine-Casks, when full. Kelly, Joshua. The modern navigator’s compleat tutor. 1733.

TheTablature for Inching an upright and paralelly-posited Tun, whose Ends are Ellipses. From The theory and practice of gauging, demonstrated in a short and easy method. 1740.

A Table of Regular Polygons. From Better, Charles. The royal gauger. 1750.

TABLE V Divisors which may be put on the radius I 2 of the officer’s instrument for wine polygons and their prisms. From Flower, William. A Key to the Modern Sliding-rule. 1768.

To find the Mean Diameter of a Cask of Any of the Four Varieties having Given the Bung and Head Diameters. From Hutton, Charles. A Treatise on Mensuration. 1788.

Inching Tuns and Coolers. From McGregor, John. A complete treatise on practical mathematics. 1792.

À general Table for Gauging or finding the content of circular headed Casks Part the second. From Kerigan, Thomas. The complete mathematical and general navigation tables. 1828.

Ullage Table for Lying Casks. From McLean, John Osborne. Practical Instructions in Gauging, Racking, Blending, Vatting, Fortifying Etc. 1881.

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