Yesterday, I had to buy a new set of measuring cups because the current set I have kind of broke apart and disappeared. I've been using my tea cup rather than the more standardized cups. From a mathematical point of view, it works because I'm using the same base to calculate the 1/4th, 1/2, 1/3rd, and the rest but I don't know if the cup was 8 ounces.
When I popped through the store, I found this great looking set of measuring cups and spoons I bought due to the color, the looks, and the fact they are all connected with a solid reinforced ring.
In the middle of the store, I wondered how long we've been using measuring cups because in a few of the books I have with recipes from the 1800's, they use the term "tea cup" which I know is not the same sized cup I used. If you remember Fannie Farmer, she wrote the Boston School of Cooking cookbook and ran the Boston School of Cooking, she decided to standardize cooking measures and created the first "level" measuring cups and spoons.. In addition, she maintained these measuring cups and spoons are an important part of a kitchen's equipment. She is the one who came up with the sizes we use today.
I grew up using teaspoons and tablespoons from the silverware set because my mother wasn't much of a cook so I don't remember having the special spoons around. I think I was in middle school before I realized measuring spoons existed and even today, if my measuring spoons aren't handy, I use something from the silverware sets.
Although she standardized measuring cups and spoons, it took a while for this idea to spread around the world. It took till the 1940's for these items to become part of everyone's kitchen supplies. As the acceptance spread, manufacturers began making them due to demand but the first began appearing in around 1900.
I realize this is a bit shorter than normal but I'm getting ready to head off to Hawaii by packing and finishing things. I'll have some pictures for you next week on my trip. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. Have a great day.