How Much is a Pint?

You may have noticed the capacity of refrigerant dehumidifiers is expressed in pints, as well the volume of the water tanks. If you’re British and a regular at the local pub, you probably have an encyclopedic knowledge of the word! All joking aside though, a pint is a unit of measurement for volume or capacity which is mostly used in the UK, the United States and among other Commonwealth nations.

The Numbers

The imperial pint amounts to approximately 0.15 Gallon or 568ml however, in the US there are two different kinds. First, there is the liquid or wet pint which equates to approximately 0.125 Gallon or 473ml, and then there is the dry pint which is not used as often and amounts to approximately 0.145 Gallon or 551ml.

When it was first introduced, it was defined as one-eighth of a gallon. Adding to the confusion was the fact there were many different types of gallon used depending on the substance which means there were different kinds of pint as well.

UK vs US

old wine gallonThe reason why the UK and the US pint differ dates back to 1707 when the United States adopted the British wine gallon (231 cubic inches) as a unit of measurement for volume. From it, the US wet pint was derived. The dry pint was derived from the British corn gallon (268.8 cubic inches). In 1842, the British decided to abandon all gallons that were used up to that point, and came up with a new imperial gallon which amounts to 277.42 inches. A UK pint today is derived from this gallon.

The USA continued to use the old gallon and pint. The dehumidifier capacity listed in my reviews refers to the US wet pint. Don’t get confused with the imperial pint because this is used as a unit of measurement for draught beer and cider, as well as refillable milk bottles. Throughout history, a pint was used outside the Commonwealth as well, although its volume varied anywhere between half to over one liter.

So there you have it! An explanation on what a “pint” is. It’s not exactly in line with the majority of information you can find here, but I thought it would be worth having this bit of trivia so you can show off at your next dinner party!

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