It only takes a little bit of imagination to deduce that a quart is a quarter or a fourth of something. This is actually a unit of measure used in both the US customary units and Imperial units of measure. It is actually a unit representing the volume of a substance. It is also representative of the space or shape that substances occupy or take.
A Quarter of a Gallon
This unit of measure is actually a fourth or a quarter of a gallon. It is also equivalent to four cups or even a couple of pints. Historically, there are a lot of different types of gallons representing various amounts of volume. Given that fact, we can safely assume that there have always been different quarters for each of the existing gallons that are still in use today. The origin of this unit of measure is closely tied to the origin, definition, and uses of a gallon.
There was a time when a gallon of something would represent different volumes of substances. It all depended on where and what was being measured at the time. As you might have guessed, back then there was no such thing as international standards. So, a gallon or a quarter of wine can be a totally different amount compared to a gallon or a quarter of milk.
However, things changed at the close of the 18th century when three different types of gallons became more common than others. These three were the corn, wine, and ale gallons. Each of these are still in use today representative of dry and fluid gallons used in the US and UK today. Each would have its own quarter equivalents.
Different Types of Quarts
US Dry Quarts: This unit of measure was derived from what was previously known as the corn gallon. It is basically used to measure dry commodities such as grain for instance. It is actually one eighth of the original Winchester bushel. It is equivalent to 1/32 of a US bushel, 67.2 cubic inches, 38.758 imperial fluid ounces, or 1.101220942715 liters.
US Liquid Quarts: This unit is derived from the Queen Anne's gallon or wine gallon, which was 3.79 liters. It was adopted by the US in the 19th century. The exact amount of the original gallon was redefined in 1706 by Queen Anne, thus being named after her. Today, it is defined as 0.946352946 liters in the US or 33.307 fluid ounces in the imperial system.
Imperial Quarts: The imperial gallon was adopted in Britain by 1824. It is currently used in both fluid and dry commodities. It is equivalent to 38.430 fluid ounces in the US or 69.355 cubic inches.