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Annotated Laws (1933), Vol. X, Constitution, Ch. 1,
Sec. 1-General Court

Page (Sec. 36] Art. IV Powers of general court

447 Annotated Laws (1944), Vol. I, Title II, Ch. 23-De

partment of Labor and Industries Sec. 1 Creation and supervision

448 3 Duties of commissioner

448 Appointees

448 5 Same: Employment requirements

448 8

Director of standards and necessaries of life:

448 9 Inspectors of standards; bonds; penalty for hindering director or inspector

448 Annotated Laws (1946), Vol. III, Title XV, Ch. 98

Weights and Measures Sec. 1 Definitions

449 2 Relation of avoirdupois pound to troy pound

449 State standards

449 4 Additional state standards; replacements 449 5 Municipal standards

449 6 Safe keeping of municipal standards 449 7

Penalty for neglect of town treasurer 450 8 Vibrating steelyards

450 9 State clinical standard thermometer

450 10 Office clinical standard thermometers 450 11 Tolerances and specifications for clinical thermometers

450 12 Testing of clinical thermometers; fees 450 13 Manufacture, sale and sealing of clinical

thermometers; designating marks 450 14 Penalties for violation of preceding section 450 14A Containers for lubricating oil

451 15 Sealing of glass milk or cream bottles or jars; designating marks

451 16 Sealing and stamping of milk or paper or fibre containers

451 17 Penalty for re-use of paper or fibre contain

451 18 Wholesale milk or cream container: Sealing; designating marks

451 19 Same: Penalty

452 20 Ice cream containers

452 21 Same: Inspection semi-annually

452 22 Cartons for sale of viscous etc., commodities regulated

452 23 Testing, etc., of containers

452 24 Unauthorized marking; penalty

452 25 Marking as condemned incorrect or un

sealed devices; penalty for removing mark 453 26 Penalty for using, etc., false or condemned devices

453 27 Penalty for using unsealed devices

453 28 Seller's rights when law violated

453 Director of standards and necessaries of life:

Powers and duties; rules and regulations;

453 31 Same: Possession of seals; penalty

453 32 Same: Testing and inspecting of local standards; penalties

453 33

Same: Tests of devices used in state institu-

454 34 Sealers of weights and measures: In cities and large towns

454 35 Same: In small towns

454 36 Same: District sealers

454 37 Same: Annual reports

454 38 Same: Duplicate sets of apothecaries' weights to be provided

454 888243-51--29

Page 39 Same: Accountability to towns for equip

454 40 Same: Duplicate sets of weights to be provided

455 41 Same: Annual tests and sealing; notice; pick clocks excepted

455 42 Same: Procedure when notice of annual

tests and sealing is disregarded; excep-
tions; penalty

455 43 Same: Testing of devices registering price.- 455 44 Same: Testing of mechanical devices for measuring leather

455 45 Same: Testing of taximeters; penalty 455 46 Same: Testing of devices used in standard

izing production and in determining
wages, capacity of tanks, etc. and the ac-

curacy of automatic devices; exceptions -- 455 47 Same: Annual testing of apothecaries'

weights or liquid measures; specifications
for glassware established by director;
designating marks

455 48 Same: Penalty against persons using untested apothecaries' weights and meas

456 49 Same: Annual test of hay and coal scales, etc.

456 50 Same: Testing upon request

456 51 Same: Sealing of glass milk or cream bottles or jars

456 52 Same: Testing upon complaint; right to

enter and inspect altered scales; penalty 456 53 Same: Other methods of sealing; notice forbidding use of device; penalty

456 54 Same: Seizure as evidence; disposition 456 55 Same: Seizure of illegal devices; disposition; penalty

456 56 Same: Fees

457 56A Location of weighing devices for food sold at retail

457 57 Annual report of commissioner

457 Annotated Laws (1946), Vol. III, Title XV, Ch. 99—

The Metric System of Weights and Measures
Sec. 1
Metric system authorized

Tables of measurements

457 3

Duties of director of standards and neces-
saries of life and town treasurers

458 4

Sealing of metric weights and measures 458 5

Duties of persons using metric system 458 Annotated Laws (1944), Vol. I, Title VII, Ch. 41

Cities and Towns Sec. 85 Weighers, measurers and surveyors of commodities: Appointment

459 Same: Duties and obligations; penalty for

misrepresenting weights or measures 459 87 Weighers of particular commodities

459 88 Public weighers of fish: Appointment; bond 459 89 Same: May appoint deputy weighers

459 90 Same: Penalty for violating oath of office 459 Annotated Laws (1946), Vol. III, Title XV, Ch. 94

Inspection and Sale of Food, Drugs and Various

Sec. 1 Definitions

459 7 Bread: Sold by weight only; unit weights defined

460 8 Same: Exceptions from preceding section; marking requirements

460 9 Same: Rules and regulations; tolerances; enforcement; seizure; hearings




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Sec. 184

219 221 222 224 225














Annotated Laws (1946), Vol. III, Title XV, Ch. 94

Inspection and Sale of Food, Drugs and Various

Page Sec. 10 Same: Penalty for violations

461 19 Sales of watered milk unlawful; penalty 461 25 Testing of milk and cream: Testing of uten

sils for determining value of milk 461 26 Same: Inspection and condemnation of testing machines

461 27 Same: Certificate for use of testing machines required

461 28 Same: Certificate of competency

461 29 Same: Testing and inspection of measuring devices

462 29A Same: Rules and regulations governing tests to determine milk-fat content

462 30 Same: Enforcement

462 31 Same: Penalties

462 84 Sale of fish: Quintal weight of fish

462 85 Same: Clam bait by barrel

462 86 Same: Public weigher of fish; weight certificate

462 87 Same: Record of weight, etc., to be kept by weigher

463 88 Same: Fees for weighing

463 88B Same: Shucked scallops and quahaugs in the

shell to be sold only by weight; penalty -- 463 89–92A Eggs

463 92B Meat and poultry: Sale at retail by weight only; exception; penalty

463 96 Sale of fruits, vegetables and nuts: Certain

commodities to be sold by dry measure;
"original standard container" defined; ex-
ceptions; penalty

98 Same: Containers of certain berries; capac-
ity; test of capacity; seizure; penalty

463 99 Same: Berries sold by strike or level measure 463 99A Same: Massachusetts standard box and half

box for farm produce sold at wholesale;
dimensions; marking requirements; pen-
alty; enforcement

463 100 Standard barrel and box for apples: Dimensions

464 107 Same: Enforcement

464 115 Standard barrel and crate for cranberries: Dimensions

464 116 Same: Enforcement; penalty; marking requirements

464 117 Sale of cranberries in packages; marking requirements

464 140 Weighers of beef: Appointment; oath 465 141 Same: Fees

465 158 Weighing of ice: Duty of dealer to furnish scales and price list of ice; penalty

465 159 Same: Duty to post prices and sell ice by weight; penalty

465 172 Standard barrel and hogshead

465 174 Cental

465 174A Flour, corn meal, hominy and hominy grits:

Standard weight containers; exceptions;

465 176 Definition of weight; construction of contracts; tolerances; penalty ------

465 177 Penalty for giving false weight or measure

or inferentially misrepresenting weight or

465 178 Rules for weighing by public weighers; penalty; public weigher defined

466 180 Certain courts to have jurisdiction over false


Same: Hearing before prosecution; guaranty protection

466 Weighers of grain: Appointment; oath

466 Same: Fees

466 Same: Certificate of sale by cental; penalty - 466 Same: Penalty for false weights or collusion 467 Commercial feeding stuffs: Marking require

467 Same: Tag or label to be affixed to package; bulk sales

467 Same: Penalty for selling without tag or label

467 Same: Enforcement; rules and regulations.- 467 Weighing of hay: Weighers; appointment; oath; regulation of hay scales; penalty

467 Sale of timothy or herdgrass seed regulated; penalty

467 Sale of coal, coke, and charcoal: Weighers of coal; appointment; oath

467 Same: Standard sizes for anthracite coal; tolerances

467 Same: Sale by weight only; ton for coal

468 Same: Sale in bags, sacks and baskets regulated

468 Same: Baskets and similar receptacles regulated

468 Same: Paper bags or sacks regulated; penalty

468 Sale of coal, charcoal, coke and road con

struction material: Weighing; certificate of weight

468 Same: Certain officials may direct goods to be weighed

468 Same: Record of weights and measures to be kept

469 Sale of edgings and kindling wood

469 Violations of Secs. 239A-247; fraud and de

ceit in weighing or measuring coal and fuel oil; penalties; enforcement

469 Penalty for possession of illegal measures for

coal, coke, charcoal or kindling wood 469 Coal

469 Commercial fertilizers: Marking requirements

469 Same: Label to be affixed, when

469 Same: Untrue label forbidden

469 Same: Rules and regulations; enforcement 469 Same: Penalty for violations

470 Lime: Inspectors

470 Same: Branding of casks

470 Same: Standard cask

470 Same: Penalty for selling in other than standard cask; exception

470 Same: Forfeiture and seizure of casks 470 Nails and brads: How packed; casks 470 Same: Branding of casks

470 Same: Forfeiture of cask or package not marked with net weight

470 Same: Disposition of forfeitures

470 Slot machines and other automatic devices: Use regulated

470 Same: Penalty

471 Sewing thread: Marking requirements 471 Same: Penalty against manufacturer, etc.

for failure to affix label and for falsely labeling

471 Same: Penalty against merchant, etc. for false label

471 Same: Certain bobbins exempted

471 Wood and bark: Measurers

471 Same: Measurers may act in adjoining town 471 Same: Standard measurement for cord wood and kindling wood



249A 250

251 253 260 261 262 263 265 266





weights and measures prosecutions 466 181 Packages containing food: Net quantity to be marked

466 182 Same: Tolerances and exemptions

466 183 Same: Penalty for violating Sec. 181 466

288 296 297 298

Annotated Laws (1946), Vol. III, Title XV, Ch. 94

Inspection and Sale of Food, Drugs and Various
Articles Continued

Page Sec. 299 Same Certificate of sale; penalty

471 300 Same: Fees of measurers

471 301

Same: Measurement of water borne wood 472 302 Same: Tickets showing quantity in load; exceptions

472 303 Same: Inspection, survey, measurement and sale of bark, etc.; penalties

472 303F Fuel oil: Seller to issue certificate as to quantity to purchaser; penalty

472 305 Fraudulent packing; penalties



Annotated Laws (1946), Vol. III, Title XV, Ch. 95–

Measurers of Leather Sec. 1 Appointment; oath

472 2 May act in any city or town

472 3 Duties

472 4

Penalty for sale of unmeasured leather 473 5 Penalty for altering or counterfeiting measurers' marks


Annotated Laws (1946), Vol. III, Title XV, Ch. 101–
Hawkers and Pedlers

Pago Sec. 13 Hawker and pedler defined

474 14 Unauthorized selling

474 27 Endorsement of license; production thereof

and use of badges, etc. 30 Revocation of license

474 32 Arrest; prosecution

474 Annotated Laws (1942), Vol. IV, Title XIX, Ch. 130

Marine Fish Sec. 5 Enforcement of laws

474 91 Sale by weight only; exceptions; penalty -- 474 Annotated Laws (1948), Vol. V, Title XXII, Ch. 164–

Sale of Gas and Electricity
Sec. 103
Gas meters: Inspection and sealing before

474 111 Same: Unit of measure

474 112 Same: Companies to provide meter provers. 475 113

Same: Penalty for providing meters not

475 114 Same: Testing meters in use

475 115 Same: To register plainly

475 115A Same: Replacement of gas meters

475 116 Gas and electricity: Entry on premises to examine meters

475 117 Same: Customer to be given meter reading upon request

475 118 Same: Electric meters to register plainly 475 119A Same: Quantity marked on bill

475 120

Electric meters: Testing of meters in use 475 121 Same: Rules and regulations

476 122 Same: Penalty for providing incorrect elec

tric meters or other measuring devices -- 476 Annotated Laws (1948), Vol. V, Title XXII, Ch. 165—

Water Meters Sec. 10 Testing

476 Annotated Laws (1933), Vol. IX, Title I, Ch. 266–

False Advertising Sec. 91 Unlawful acts; penalty


Annotated Laws (1946), Vol. III, Title XV, Ch. 96—

Measurers of Lumber Sec. 7 Appointment; oath

473 8 May be licensed to act in adjoining towns

473 9 Fraud in measuring; penalty

473 10 Penalty for inducing measurer to make false measurement

473 11

Penalty for misrepresentation of authority - 473 11A Standard log rule


Annotated Laws (1946), Vol. III, Title XV, Ch. 97—

Tests of Surveyor's Measures Sec. 3

Annual test of surveyors' apparatus by seal

ers of weights and measures; penalty -- 473 4 Appointment of person other than sealer to make test

473 5 Tests to be based on state standards

473 6 Fees for testing


Annotated Laws (1933), Vol. X, Constitution, Ch. 1, Sec. 14General Court.

(ED. NOTE.--No section of the Massachusetts Constitution refers specifically to weights and measures, but the following section has been construed to permit enactments by the legislature relative to weights and measures under the police power, in that the legislature has the power to protect the public against fraud.] [Sec. 36] Article IV. Powers of general court.

And further, full power and authority are hereby given and granted to the said general court, from time to time, to make, ordain, and establish, all manner of wholesome and reasonable orders, laws, statutes, and ordinances, directions and instructions, either with penalties or without; so as the same be not repugnant or contrary to this constitution, as they shall judge to be for the good and welfare of this commonwealth, and for the government and ordering thereof, and of the subjects of the same, and for the necessary support and defence of the government thereof; and to name and settle annually, or provide by fixed laws, for the naming

and settling all civil officers within the said commonwealth; the election and constitution of whom are not hereafter in this form of government otherwise provided for; and to set forth the several duties, powers, and limits, of the several civil and military officers of this commonwealth, and the forms of such oaths or affirmations as shall be respectively administered unto them for the execution of their several offices and places, so as the same be not repugnant or contrary to this constitution; and to impose and levy proportional and reasonable assessments, rates, and taxes, upon all the inhabitants of, and persons resident, and estates lying, within the said commonwealth; and also to impose and levy, reasonable duties and excises, upon any produce, goods, wares, merchandise, and commodities, whatsoever, brought into, produced, manufactured, or being within the same; to be issued and disposed of by warrant, under the hand of the governor of this commonwealth for the time being, with the advice and consent of the council, for the public service, in the necessary defence and support Annotated Laws (1933), Vol. X, Constitution, Ch. 1,

Sec. 1—General Court-Continued. of the government of the said commonwealth, and the protection and preservation of the subjects thereof, according to such acts as are or shall be in force within the same.

And while the public charges of government, or any part thereof, shall be assessed on polls and estates, in the manner that has hitherto been practised, in order that such assessments may be made with equality, there shall be a valuation of estates within the commonwealth taken anew once in

every ten years at least, and as much oftener as the general court shall order. [1780]

[Ed. Note.-In the Annotated Laws of Massachusetts, following the foregoing section, it is stated: “The protection of the public against fraud is a well-recognized branch of the police power, in the exercise of which the State may abridge an individual's freedom to contract, even in private business. Instances of this are the laws regulating the sale of oleomargarine and merchandise in bulk and the laws relating to weights, measures and packages. 4 Op. A. G.

519, 521."] Annotated Laws (1944), Vol. I, Title II, Ch. 23—

Department of Labor and Industries. Sec. 1. Creation and supervision.

There shall be a department of labor and industries, under the supervision and control of a commissioner of labor and industries, in this chapter (Ch. 23) called the commissioner, an assistant commissioner, who shall be a woman, and three associate commissioners, one of whom shall be a representative of labor and one a representative of employers of labor. [1912; last amended 1921.] Sec. 3. Duties of commissioner.

The commissioner shall be the executive and administrative head of the department. Except as otherwise provided, he shall have charge of the administration and enforcement of all laws, rules and regulations which it is the duty of the department to administer and enforce, shall direct all inspections and investigations, and may assign the officers and employees of the department to the several divisions thereof. He shall organize in the department a division of standards, a division on the necessaries of life, a division of occupational hygiene, and such other divisions as he may from time to time determine.

He shall prepare for the consideration of the assistant commissioner and the associate commissioners rules and regulations for the conduct of the department and all other rules and regulations which the department is authorized by law to make, and they shall, except as otherwise provided, take effect when approved by the associate commissioners and the assistant commissioner, or upon such date as they determine. The commissioner may designate the assistant commissioner or an associate commissioner to discharge the duties of the commissioner during

his absence or disability. [1912; last amended 1941.] Sec. 4. Appointees.

The commissioner, assistant commissioner and associate commissioners may, with the approval of the governor and council, appoint not more than six directors and may, with like approval, remove them. One of them, to be known as the director of standards and necessaries of life, shall have charge of the division of standards and the division on the necessaries of life, and each of the others shall be assigned to take charge of a division, other than the division of unemployment compensation or its successor. The commissioner may employ, for periods not exceeding ninety days, such experts as may be necessary to assist the department in the performance of any duty imposed upon it by law, and such employment shall be exempt from chapter thirtyone (Civil Service). Except as otherwise provided, the commissioner may employ and remove such inspectors, investigators, clerks and other assistants as the work of the department may require. [1835; last amended 1941.] Sec. 5. Same: Employment requirements.

All directors, inspectors and other permanent employees of the department shall devote their whole time to the affairs of the department; and all directors and inspectors and such other employees as may be designated by the commissioner shall, before entering upon their duties, be sworn to the faithful performance thereof. The number of inspectors heretofore authorized by law may be increased only with the approval of the governor and council. Except as otherwise provided, the commissioner, assistant commissioner and associate commissioners shall determine from time to time how many of the inspectors employed shall be women. [1859; last amended 1935.] Sec. 8. Director of standards and necessaries of life: Duties.

The director of standards and necessaries of life shall, in addition to the powers and duties conferred and imposed upon him by law, perform such other duties as may be assigned to him by the commissioner. [1919; last amended 1939.) Sec. 9. Inspectors of standards; bonds; penalty for hindering director or inspector.

Inspectors of standards appointed under section four shall aid the director in the performance of his duties, shall have all necessary powers therefor and shall give bond for the faithful performance of their duties. Whoever hinders, obstructs or in any way interferes with the director or an inspector in the performance of any official duty imposed by law shall, except as otherwise provided, be punished by a fine of not more than three hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than two months. [1859; last amended 1935.

Annotated Laws (1946), Vol. III, Title XV, Ch.

98—Weights and Measures. Sec. 1. Definitions.

In this chapter (Secs. 1-57] the following words, unless a different meaning is required by the context or is specifically prescribed, shall have the following meanings:

“Director”, director of standards and necessaries of life of the department of labor and industries.

"Deputy”, deputy sealer of weights and measures. "Inspector”, inspector of standards. "Sealer", sealer of weights and measures.

"Weighing or measuring device", all weights, measures, scales, balance beams, vibrating steelyards, and weighing or measuring devices used for weighing or measuring any commodity bought, sold or exchanged or for hire or reward, computing scales and other devices having a device for indicating or registering the price as well as the weight or measure of a commodity offered for sale, taximeters and other forms of measuring devices used upon vehicles for determining the cost of transportation; and all machines and other forms of measuring devices used or intended to be used for determining the measurement of leather bought, sold or offered for sale. [1907; last amended 1939.) Sec. 2. Relation of avoirdupois pound to troy pound.

The avoirdupois pound shall bear to the troy pound the relation of seven thousand to five thousand seven hundred and sixty. The hundred weight shall contain one hundred avoirdupois pounds, and the ton twenty hundredweight. [1894] Sec. 3. State standards.

The following weighing and measuring devices now in the custody of the director shall be the sole authorized standards, except as provided in sections four, nine and ten of this chapter, and in section one of chapter ninety-nine (metric system), and with the standards supplied under authority of said sections shall be called the state standards: a set of dry measures consisting of one half-bushel, eight, four, two and one quarts, one pint and one-half pint; a set of liquid measures consisting of one gallon, two and one quarts, one pint, two and one gills; a set of apothecaries' liquid measures consisting of one gallon, four, two and one pints, twelve, eight, six, four, three, two and one ounces, four, two and one drams, ten and five minims; a set of avoirdupois weights consisting of fifty, twenty-five, twenty, ten, five, four, three, two and one pounds, eight, six, four, three, two and one ounces, eight, six, four, three, two and one drams; a set of troy weights consisting of five thousand, three thousand, two thousand, one thousand, five hundred, three hundred, two hundred, one hundred, fifty, thirty, twenty, ten, five, three, two and one pennyweights, ten, six, five, four, three, two and one grains, one

half a grain, twelve, ten, six, five, four, three, two and one ounces, five tenths, four tenths, three tenths, two tenths, one tenth, five one-hundredths, four one-hundredths, three one-hundredths, two one-hundredths, one one-hundredth, five one-thousandths, four one-thousandths, three one-thousandths, two one-thousandths, one one-thousandth, five ten-thousandths, four ten-thousandths, three ten-thousandths, two ten-thousandths and one tenthousandth of an ounce; a set of apothecaries' weights consisting of twelve, six, two and one ounces; a set of apothecaries' weights consisting of twelve, six, two and one ounces, four, two and one drams, two and one scruples, ten, five, four, three, two and one grains, one half, one quarter and one tenth grains; a yard measure and three sets of balances.

Such standards shall be kept by the director, and he shall, at least once in five years, cause them to be compared with the standards of the United States government, and, if necessary, corrected to agree therewith. [1647; last amended 1920. Sec. 4. Additional state standards; replacements.

The state standards shall also include all weighing and measuring devices received from the United States under the resolution of congress approved June fourteenth, eighteen hundred and thirty-six, and all other weighing and measuring devices received from the United States as standard weights and measures, and such as have been or shall be supplied by the commonwealth and certified by the national bureau of standards. Weighing and measuring devices procured to replace the standards shall be preserved in the same form and of the same dimensions as required of said standards, and the denominations thereof shall be marked thereon. [1799; last amended 1920. Sec. 5. Municipal standards.

Towns shall keep the following standard weights, measures and balances: A set of avoirdupois weights consisting of fifty, twenty-five, twenty, ten, five, four, two and one pounds, and eight, four, two, one, one half, one quarter, one eighth and one ixteenth ounces; a set of dry measures consisting of one halfbushel, one eight-quart, one four-quart, one twoquart, one one-quart, one pint and one half-pint; a set of liquid measures consisting of one gallon, one half-gallon, one quart, one pint, one half-pint and one gill; one balance; one yard measure; and each town hereafter incorporated shall be furnished by the director with a complete set of the foregoing standards. Each city and each shire town shall keep the meter and kilogram and the standard troy weights designated by the director. [1647; last amended 1920.] Sec. 6. Safe keeping of municipal standards.

Town treasurers shall, at the expense of the towns, provide therein accessible places for the safe

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