The banality of artefact standards

Describing a legal volt: "Without the certificate specifying the true value of the battery and attesting to the time and circumstances of its calibration, the box would hold nothing but four rather ordinary, albeit weak, batteries that are of no use to anyone. With the certificate, the box still holds four batteries, but it also holds something else of far greater importance: it also holds the legal volt." (O'Connell, 1993, p. 148)

O'Connell, J. (January 01, 1993). Metrology: The Creation of Universality by the Circulation of Particulars. Social Studies of Science, 23, 1, 129.