I have a bottle of water on my desk. I’ve long since peeled off the label, and I wanted to add some drink mix to the water, but I wasn’t sure how much water the bottle held. I also didn’t want to pour it all out into a measuring cup. So after thinking for a few seconds, I headed to the mailroom and got my answer.

Why?

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Did you weigh it on the mail scale and then look up the liquid weight conversion to find out how many pints, quarts, or cups your bottle held?

You can use the letter scale to see how many ounces it is and then convert it to fluid ounces…?

Yup. But I already knew that 1L water weighs 1kg. So when I saw that it weighs 2lb 4oz, I knew I had about a liter. Close enough to dump two packets of drink mix in there, anyway.

right!

a pint is a pound the world around…

The vending machine you got it from was in their? or you know how much water weighs.

the density of water is 1 g/cc. the mailroom likely has a scale. the mass of the bottle is insignifigant. from there it’s just math.

The scale?

— Cletus the Foetus

You weighed it on the mail scale?

looking for a scale?

The scale in the mail room. Possibly with a weight to volume equation.

The handy dandy ounce scale.

Multiple guess answers: :) you weighed it in the mail room thereby determining how much water is in the bottle.

There is a water vending machine located in or through or near the mail room and it’s the same exact shape bottle so reading those labels would tell you the amount of water.

Ribbit!

Somebody else in the mail room has the same bottles therefore you figured you’d ask them the volume from their label.

Ask the aquarist: you weighed it. One gallon of water is about 8 1/3 lbs. From there, it’s simple math.

you weighed the bottle on the mailroom scale and coverted weight to volume.

The postage meter?

well, the obvious answer seems to be that there’s a package scale there to weigh it… is it that straightforward?

Easy!

During your last visit to the mailroom (whilst wearing a deerstalker hat and smoking a large pipe), you noticed that one of the mailroom staff had an identically sized water bottle but (crucially) they had not removed the label.

Unfortunately when you returned to the mailroom with your bottle, you discovered that said labelled bottle had been thrown away. So, using the mailroom facilities, you posted your empty bottle to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (www.nist.gov) and asked them to measure it for you.

Approximately 3 weeks later, you received a letter from NIST advising you that your bottle could hold exactly one fifth of a firkin of ale.

exactly one fifth of a firkin of ale…… this has seriously brightened my day. :)

That’s easy– the mailroom has a postage scale. You probably knew that a gallon of water weighs 8 pounds. There are 4 quarts to a gallon, so a quart weighs 2 pounds. A quart is 2 pints, which are a pound each and so on. You weighed the bottle of water (disregarding the weight of the bottle itself, I imagine) and determined the amount of water in the bottle by its weight. From there, you could figure out how much mix to add to your bottle.

That– or you found a similar bottle with the label still on it… :)