Bushel (unit of measure)

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The bushel , also known as Schaff , Schäffel , Simber , Sümber , Sümmer , Simmer , is an old measure of space that was used to measure bulk goods (e.g. grain) and was therefore also called the grain measure . In Westphalia, the bushel was also used to measure hard coal . The size of a bushel was very different, according to the table (see below) between 17.38 and 310.25 liters. Furthermore, a bushel (Landes) denotes an old agricultural unit of land.

The fourth part of the bushel was called Fehre, Fehrd or Viert / Viertel / Vierfaß . It was the so-called sip measure , the sieve measure. In Upper Franconia , the fourth part of the bushel was called Sumer. This in turn was divided into 14 Metzen or 2 Malter, with 1 Malter again being referred to as ½ Sümer.

A Sümmer (Scheffel) was a German measure of capacity for pourable solid bodies (e.g. grain) until 1872.


The bushel was used as a unit of measure as early as the Middle Ages. The volume of the bushel, however, varied by country and region. For example, the Dresden and Radeberg bushels are documented for the 14th century. A bushel there corresponded to 4 quarters or 16 stitches or 64 little sticks. In Prussia, the bushel replaced the ringlet as a unit of measurement on January 1, 1818 . In the middle of the 19th century there was a bushel with a volume of 16/9 cubic feet. This was the equivalent of 3072 Prussian cubic inches or 2770.742 French cubic inches. This corresponds to a volume of 54.9615 liters. In addition to the volume of 3072 Prussian inches, there was a clear width of 22 Prussian inches. Thus a cylindrically shaped bushel was 8.0813878 Prussian inches high. At that time the old bushel was sometimes still in use as a measure. An old bushel had a volume of 2759 French cubic inches, equivalent to 54.728 liters. Thus, one old bushel was equivalent to 0.99575 new sheffels. At the same time, certain minimum weights applied to the bushel. The following minimum weights of a bushel in Prussian pounds applied: oats 45 ½ Prussian pounds, flour 75 Prussian pounds, barley 55 ½ Prussian pounds, wheat 85 ½ Prussian pounds, pulses 90 ½ Prussian pounds and coal 100 Prussian pounds. Since July 1, 1858, the Prussian pound has been equivalent to 500 grams. For coals, the spreading measure introduced in Prussia since 1852 also applied, according to which a bushel only had to be filled to the edge without accumulation. This also applied to the trams , which had a volume (five, eight or ten times) as much as a bushel.

Regional variants

Unless otherwise stated, the information is provided by Krüger.

designation Volume in liters
Ansbachisches Summer 18th
Bayreuth Summer 28
Bavarian bushel 222.357
Erfurt bushel 059.6132
Altenburg, principality, bushel 140
Altona in Holstein, Danish bushel 017.38
Anclam in Pomerania, old rye sheep 044.75
Annaberg in Saxony, Scheffel 198.35
Railway in Pomerania, old rye sheep / old oat bushel 052.61 / 78.93
Bavaria, like Munich
Bautzen in Saxony, old bushel 109.09
Beeskow in Brandenburg, old bushel 055.33
Belgard in Pomerania old rye sheep / old oat bushel 051.08 / 76.57
Berlin, Prussian Reichsscheffel 054.91
Bytom in Silesia, old bushel 204.48
Bohemian bushel 50
Borna in Saxony, old bushel 110.73
Brandenburg and Lenzen in the Mark Brandenburg, old bushel 052.75
Brunswick, Duchy, Bushel 310.25
Bremen, Scheffel 071.06
Breslau in Silesia, old bushel 073.94
Bunzlau in Silesia, old bushel 099.93
Camin in Pomerania, old rye sheep / old oat bushel 053.43 / 71.58
Chemnitz in Saxony, old bushel 149
Cleve in Rhenish Prussia, Scheffel 053.54
Cöslin in Pomerania, old rye sheep / old oat bushel 053.43 / 54.91
Cöthen in Anhalt-Cöthen, Scheffel 052.91
Colberg in Pomerania, old rye sheep / old oat bushel 045.18 / 56.61
Colditz in Saxony, old bushel 079.32
Culm in Prussia, old bushel 054.71
Danzig in Prussia, old bushel 051.46
Delitzsch in Prussian Saxony, old bushel 053.92
Delmenhorst in Oldenburg, Scheffel 019.75
Dresden in Saxony, Scheffel 107.33
Duderstadt in Hanover, Scheffel 030th
Eilenburg in Prussian Saxony, old bushel 063.82
Eisleben in Prussian Saxony, old bushel 072.31
Emden in East Frisia, Scheffel 023.89
Erfurt in Prussian Saxony, old bushel 059.55
Freiberg in Saxony, old bushel 108.25
Gardelegen in the Mark Brandenburg, old bushel 049.74
Garz in Pomerania, old rye sheep / old oat bushel 052.19 / 78.29
Geldern in Rhenish Prussia, old bushel 035.72
Glatz in Silesia, old bushel 092.57
Glogau in Silesia, old bushel 102.23
Görlitz in Silesia, old bushel 141
Goldberg and Löwenberg in Silesia, old bushel 099.34
Gotha in Coburg-Gotha, Scheffel 087.67
Greifswald in Western Pomerania, old bushel 038.92
Grimma in Saxony, old bushel 103.3
Hall in Prussian Saxony, old bushel 079.38
Hamburg, bushel of wheat, rye and peas 105.26
Hamburg, bushel of barley and oats 157.89
Hamm in Westphalia, old bushel 061.23
Havelberg in the Mark Brandenburg, old bushel 051.46
Heiligenstadt in Reg.-Bez. Erfurt, old bushel 021.64
Herford in Westphalia, old bushel 043.14
Hildesheim in Hanover, Scheffel 051.8
Hirschberg in Silesia, old bushel 092.43
Jauer in Silesia, old bushel 095.89
Jena in Saxe-Weimar, Scheffel 080
Jever in Oldenburg, Scheffel 029.95
Kiel and Holstein, Scheffel 039.48
Königsberg in Prussia, old bushel / new bushel 049.82 / 52.97
Kyritz and Rathenow in the Mark Brandenburg, old bushel 050.61
Landshut and Polkwitz in Silesia, old bushel 102.81
Langensalza in Prussian Saxony, old bushel 055.63
Lauenburg in Pomerania, old rye sheep / old oat bushel 057.43 / 82.46
Leipzig, old Leipzig bushel 080.58
Lemgo and the Principality of Lippe, Scheffel 036.25
Liegnitz in Silesia, old bushel 097.61
Lübeck, grain bushel / oat bushel 022.67 / 39.60
Lueneburg in Hanover, Scheffel 062.14
Mecklenburg, like Rostock
Minden in Westphalia, old Stadtscheffel 058.52
Mühlhausen in Prussian Saxony, old bushel 040.07
Munich and Baiern, grain sheep / old oat bushel 222.2 / 343
Munster in Westphalia, Scheffel 023.25
Munsterberg in Silesia, old bushel 108.59
Naumburg in Prussian Saxony, old bushel 077.12
Neu-Strelitz in Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Scheffel 051.6
Nördlingen in Bavaria, grain / barley / spelled / oats 097.75 / 144.3 / 219.4 / 229.2
Nordhausen in Prussian Saxony, old bushel 045.4
Oels in Silesia, old bushel 100.21
Ohlau in Silesia, old bushel 106.17
Oldenburg, Scheffel 022.25
Oschatz in Saxony, old bushel 112.18
Osnabrück in Hanover, Scheffel 028.70
Paderborn in Westphalia, old Kreuzscheffel 041.91
Pasewalk in Pomerania, old rye sheep / old oat bushel 054.55 / 75.5
Pegau in Saxony, Scheffel 084.81
Perleberg, Pritzwalk and Werben in the Mark Brandenburg, old bushel 049.76
Pfaffenhofen in Bavaria, Grain bushel / Haferscheffel 231.6 / 260
Pirna and Stolpen in Saxony, as in Bautzen
Plauen in Saxony, Scheffel 154.13
Potsdam in the Mark Brandenburg, old bushel 053.19
Prenzlow in the Mark Brandenburg, old bushel 055.76
Prussia, like Berlin
Pyritz and Stargard in Pomerania, old rye sheep / old oat bushel 051.82 / 68.62
Querfurt in Prussian Saxony, old bushel 052.88
Radeberg in Saxony, Scheffel 0191.626
Rendsburg in Holstein, Scheffel 042.49
Rochlitz in Saxony, old bushel 105.68
Rostock, Mecklenburg bushel: grain / oats 038.85 / 43.77
Rügenwalde in Pomerania, old grain bushel / old oat bushel 047.18 / 66.48
Ruppin in the Mark Brandenburg, old bushel 054.04
Sagan in Silesia, old bushel 097.04
Salzwedel, Seehausen and Osterburg in the Mark Brandenburg, Scheffel 048
Schweidnitz in Silesia, old bushel 083.15
Soest in Westphalia, Scheffel 029.43
Stapelholm in Schleswig, Scheffel 021.58
Stendal and Tangermünde in the Mark Brandenburg, Scheffel 046.33
Stolpe in Pomerania, old bushel of grain / old bushel of oats 046.33 / 54.91
Stralsund in Pomerania, Scheffel 038.92
Strelitz, like Neu-Strelitz
Stuttgart, Württemberg Reichsscheffel 177.18
Torgau in Prussian Saxony, old bushel 066.11
Uckermünde in Pomerania, old rye sheep / old oat bushel 052.33 / 54.91
Unna in Prussian Westphalia, old bushel 051
Weimar, Scheffel 076.89
Weißenfels in Prussian Saxony, old bushel 167.28
Wernigerode, old bushel 052.88
Wismar in Mecklenburg, Scheffel 038.25
Wohlau in Silesia, old bushel 107.44
Wolgast in Pomerania, old bushel 040.48
Wollin and Usedom in Pomerania, old rye sheffel / old oat bushel 053.19 / 78.06
Worbis in Prussian Saxony, old bushel 031.13
Württemberg, like Stuttgart 177.18
Wurzen in Saxony, old bushel 070.55
Zwickau in Saxony, Scheffel 067

Often a distinction was made with the bushel:

  • Quedlinburg 1 bushel pen size = 3231 Parisian cubic inches equivalent to 85 pounds
  • Quedlinburg 1 bushel city size = 3430 Parisian cubic inches equivalent to 90 pounds
  • Querfurt 1 bushel lock size = 2643 Parisian cubic inches was equivalent to 70 pounds
  • Querfurt 1 bushel village measure = 2830 Parisian cubic inches equivalent to 101 pounds
  • Duchy of Oldenburg : 1 collegiate church sheffel = 53.16 liters (slightly heaped for delivery to churches)

Differences in weight, application in mining

The conversion of the bushel into modern weights is not always possible exactly. This is due, on the one hand, to the different types of coal and their different specific weights, and, on the other hand, to the different pieces of coal. The information is therefore subject to certain fluctuations. The weight of a bushel of coal varied between 40 and 75 kilograms, depending on the mining area. By 1855, an average value of 55 kilograms for the bushel can be assumed. From the weight adjustment around 1855, the weight of the bushel (new sheffel) in Prussia was 50 kilograms. Despite the weight adjustment, some mines continued to use the old dimensions or their own dimensions for a long time.

In County Mark, a bushel weighed 65 kilograms between 1800 and 1836. In Pörtingsiepen in 1842 the bushel was equivalent to 75 kilograms. In Langenbrahm, a bushel weighed 51.50 kilograms from 1870 to 1880. In the Essen / Mülheim / Oberhausen Chamber of Commerce district, a bushel weighed 53.76 kilograms. For gas flame coal mines, the weight of the bushel was 41.70 kilograms. There were even different weights for the bushel under individual mines. For the Friederica colliery , a bushel weighed 55.50 kilograms up until 1837. For the United Hannibal colliery , a bushel weighed 42.75 kilograms. At the Dahlbusch colliery , a bushel weighed 42 kilograms from 1873 to 1875 and 42.50 kilograms from 1876 onwards. For the Heinrich colliery in Essen-Überruhr, the bushel weighed 55 kilograms. For the Königsgrube , a bushel weighed 47.20 kilograms until 1872, 47.50 kilograms from 1874 and 47.20 kilograms from 1875. The Holland colliery put a weight of 51.26 kilograms for the bushel in 1872. In the Gutehoffnungshütte , the bushel was calculated to be 46 kilograms in 1870. At the Concordia colliery , the New Sheffel was calculated at 48 kilograms in 1870.

Popularly the bushel

The saying " you shouldn't put your light under a bushel " means that you shouldn't hide your achievements and / or merits out of modesty or disregard your own performance. The expression refers to the parable of the light under a bushel in the New Testament ( Mk 4,21  LUT ; Mt 5,15  LUT ; Lk 11,33  LUT ) in the translation of Martin Luther ; what is meant is the basket or vessel with which the amount is measured. Luther chose “Scheffel” as the translation for the measure of capacity in Greek modios , or Latin modius , the volume of which is given as around 8.75 liters.

The bushel in the proverb

“Don't call anyone your friend if you haven't already had at least a bushel of salt with them!”
How long it takes to consume a bushel of salt with your normal diet can be measured by looking at the unit of measurement.

“You don't light a light and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; so it shines for all who are in the house. "( Matthew 5:15  LUT - Luther Bible 2017)


  • Otto Brandt: Documentary on measure and weight in Saxony. Dresden 1933
  • Fritz Verdenhalven : Old measurement and currency systems from the German-speaking area. Neustadt an der Aisch 1993

Individual evidence

  1. a b Heinrich Veith : German mountain dictionary. With receipts. Published by Wilhelm Gottlieb Korn, Breslau 1871.
  2. ^ Johann Friedrich Krüger : Complete manual of the coins, measures and weights of all countries in the world. Gottfried Basse, Quedlinburg / Leipzig 1830, p. 92.
  3. a b Hildegard Weiß: The Cistercian Abbey Ebrach: an investigation into the manorial rule, court rule and village community in the Franconian area. Gustav Fischer, Stuttgart 1962, p. 52 ( limited preview in the Google book search).
  4. ^ City history of Radeberg (last accessed on April 16, 2015).
  5. Prussian dimensions around 1860. Bürger- und Heimatverein Heven e. V., accessed April 24, 2013 .
  6. a b c C. LF Juhr (Ed.): Georg Thomas Flügel's Cours-Zettel, continued as a manual for coin, measurement, banking, weight and usage, as well as bills of exchange, bank, government paper and stocks, European and non-European cities. 10th edition, Verlag der Jaeger'schen Buch, Papier- und Landkarten-Handlung, Frankfurt am Main 1859.
  7. August Erich Julius Barnstedt: Geographical-historical-statistical description of the Grand Ducal Oldenburg Principality of Birkenfeld. With topography and map. Printed and published by CF Kittsteiner, Birkenfeld 1845.
  8. ^ Ludwig von Rönne : The state right of the Prussian monarchy. Volume 2, Division 1–2, 2nd edition. FA Brockhaus, Leipzig 1864-1865.
  9. Christian Noback , Friedrich Noback : Complete paperback of the coin, measure and weight ratios, the government papers, the exchange and banking and the customs of all countries and trading places. First division: Aachen - Pesth. FA Brockhaus, Leipzig 1851.
  10. ^ Johann Friedrich Krüger (pseudonym: Friedr. Alb. Niemann): Complete manual of the coins, measures and weights of all countries in the world . Quedlinburg and Leipzig 1830.
  11. ^ Max Döllner : History of the development of the city of Neustadt an der Aisch up to 1933. Ph. C. W. Schmidt, Neustadt a. d. Aisch 1950, OCLC 42823280 ; New edition to mark the 150th anniversary of the Ph. C. W. Schmidt publishing house, Neustadt an der Aisch 1828–1978. Ibid 1978, ISBN 3-87707-013-2 , p. 465.
  12. ^ Max Döllner: History of the development of the city of Neustadt an der Aisch until 1933. 1950, p. 465.
  13. zeitspurensuche.de (last accessed on April 16, 2015).
  14. ^ Old weights and measures in the Kyffhäuserkreis (last accessed on April 16, 2015).
  15. ^ Sudeten history
  16. ^ Johann Georg Krünitz , Friedrich Jakob Flörke, Heinrich Gustav Flörke , Johann Wilhelm David Korth, Carl Otto Hoffmann, Ludwig Kossarski: Economic Encyclopedia. Volume 45, Verlag Joachim Pauli, Berlin 1789, p. 756.
  17. Felix von Blocken: The new dimensions and weights in tables and illustrations with legal provisions applicable to Bavaria, Prussia, Baden and Würtemberg. R. Forchthammer, Regensburg 1871, p. 302.
  18. ^ Legal Gazette for the Duchy of Oldenburg for 1869 and 1870. (Volume 21). Gerhard Stalling, Oldenburg 1869, p. 75.
  19. Joachim Huske : The coal mine in the Ruhr area. Data and facts from the beginning to 2005 (= publications from the German Mining Museum Bochum 144). 3. Edition. Self-published by the German Mining Museum, Bochum 2006, ISBN 3-937203-24-9 .
  20. ^ Joseph Jäckel: Zementierungslexikon for all traders and tradespeople according to the Austrian cementation documents. Verlag Anton Strauss, Vienna 1824, p. 184.
  21. Idiom / idiom: (not) put one's light under the bushel. In: redensarten.net (last accessed on April 16, 2015).
  22. Bauer, Walter: Greek-German dictionary on the writings of the New Testament and early Christian literature , 6th completely revised edition, Berlin; New York 1988, col. 1064.

See also

Web links