150: What’s In a Number?

    Issue 150

    150 is the magic number this month. 150 bi-weekly issues ago, Copper magazine was launched. It got me thinking about the number 150 and its many uses. Here is a quick glance at many things “150.”

    Let’s see how the US dollar performed. $150 in 1921, 100 years ago, is worth about $2,290 today. $150 in 1971, 50 years ago, is worth about $1,103 today. Conversely, $150 today was worth $9.82 in 1921, and $22.20 in 1971. In 1871, $150 would be worth about $3,300 today; $150 today would have been worth about $7.30.

    Turning back the calendar 150 years, we find:

    • Lewis Carroll’s sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, entitled Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, was published on December 27, 1871.
    • Continental AG began life as a rubber manufacturer in 1871, and began developing and producing tires in 1898. Today they are a major automotive component supplier.
    • The Greatest Show on Earth had its roots in P.T. Barnum’s Great Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan and Hippodrome, established in 1871, which evolved and merged over the years into the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
    • Beverage producer White Rock Beverages was founded by pharmacist H.M. Colver in 1871, peddling natural spring water from the White Rock spring in Waukesha, Wisconsin. It is now a popular brand of sodas and soft drinks.
    • The cable car railway was first created 150 years ago.
    • West Chester University in Pennsylvania held its first day of classes on September 25, 1871.
    • British Columbia became the sixth province of Canada in 1871. No US states joined the union in 1871, although Colorado (the home of PS Audio) joined five years later, in 1876.
    • Closer to home (if you call Boulder your home, as PS Audio does), the Colorado Springs Company laid out the town of Fountain Colony in 1871 which, within the next year, would be renamed Colorado Springs. In addition, the town of Longmont was founded in 1871 by a group of settlers from Chicago, originally calling it the Chicago-Colorado Colony.
    • The Great Chicago Fire burned roughly 3.3 square miles of the city on October 8 – 10, 1871, causing an estimated four billion dollars in damages (in 2021 dollars), and leaving about one in three Chicago residents homeless.

    A half-barrel beer keg weighs about 150 pounds. You may need a few glasses of that brew to read your way through the complete 20-volume set of the 2010 edition of The Oxford English Dictionary, which itself weighs nearly 150 pounds.


    Words that carry weight: The Oxford English Dictionary. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Dan (mrpolyonymous on Flickr).

    Words that carry weight: The Oxford English Dictionary. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Dan (mrpolyonymous on Flickr).


    US 150 is a road in the US highway system that starts on its eastern end at the US 25 junction in Mount Vernon, Kentucky and ends at the junction of US 6 in Moline, Illinois. There is no I 150 in the US Interstate Highway System (I 50 has no three-digit auxiliary highways associated with it), but there are many state roads numbered 150.

    An average adult, male giant panda weighs about 150 kilograms, as can an average upright piano and a cast iron bathtub.

    The average gestation period of a goat is 150 days.

    A stack of six original Advent Loudspeakers would reach just over 150 inches, about the same length as about 34 EL34 vacuum tubes laid end to end. Five Dynaco Stereo 70 amps would weigh about 150 pounds, without tubes, and 27 Grado Black cartridges would weigh about 150 grams, without packaging.

    May 30th is the 150th day of the year, or May 29th during a leap year.

    According to hot-dog.org, Americans enjoy 150 million hot dogs on Independence Day, which would stretch from Washington DC to Los Angeles more than five times over if you lined them up. Greek chili and onions for mine, please.

    A 5 x 5 x 5 Rubik’s Cube has six faces totaling 150 colored squares.

    In a 150-inch parking space, you can fit a Chevrolet Spark, a MINI Hardtop two-door or a Mitsubishi Mirage.

    And since you were wondering about parking spaces, that long-lost Serbian pinnacle of automobile production, the Yugo, fell short at 137 inches (and in many other ways, apparently), and only enters our survey due to one particular Yugo falling from Michigan’s Mackinac Bridge in 1989, under which there is just over 150 inches of clearance, depending on the lake level. (File this under “most useless factoid of the day.”)


    Rust in peace: there's a Yugo somewhere under the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan.

    Rust in peace: there's a Yugo somewhere under the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Justin Billau.


    Mathematically, the prime factorization of 150 is 2 x 3 x 5 x 5, and in scientific notation, is referred to as 1.5 x 10². It can also be represented as 10010110 in binary or 0x96 in hexadecimal.

    In numerology, the essence of the number 150 includes ideas of community, harmony, nurturing, independence and family.

    Things that weigh 150 tons: the Statue of Liberty, without the base; an unloaded Boeing 787-9; an average blue whale, the largest animal on earth; a Komatsu D575A-2 Super Dozer.

    You can buy a Model 150 tubing cutter made by Ridgid, a Holstein Model 150 sweet corn roaster and potato cooker, a Polaroid Model 150 Land camera, a Model 150 analog dial watch from the RGM Watch Co., a Badger Model 150 double-action airbrush, or a secondhand Cessna 150 two-seat light airplane, which remains one of the most popular light aircraft of all time with almost 24,000 manufactured and nearly 22,000 still registered around the world, despite not being produced since the mid-1980s.

    You can also purchase a Bajaj Pulsar 150 motorcycle from India, a Winchester Model 150 rifle, a Ford F-150 Lightning EV pickup truck (or at least preorder one), a #150 dress model from Singer (the sewing machine company), a Bogdan Model 150 fly fishing reel, or an Engström Model 150 respirator.


    Nope, it's not an air-bearing turntable pump: it's an Engström Model 150 respirator. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Science Museum Group.

    Nope, it's not an air-bearing turntable pump: it's an Engström Model 150 respirator. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Science Museum Group.


    Chilling fact: 150 degrees Kelvin is equal to –190 degrees Fahrenheit and –123 degrees Celsius.

    The Eden Gardens Cricket Grounds in Kolkata, India measures out to 150 acres.

    7 Checklist Items for Success by Jean G. Mathurin, Golden Gate Jumper Survivors Society by Kristen Rabe, Lean Gains by Charlene Oldham, and The Grand River: Dundalk to Lake Erie by Matt Sutherland, are all books with a page count of 150 pages.

    Feeling old? Not as old as these creatures! Animals that can live 150 years or longer are the Galapagos giant tortoise, the red sea urchin, the bowhead whale, and the Greenland shark.

    Ready for a scenic road trip? A circle with a 150-mile radius includes Utah’s “Mighty 5” national parks (Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, Zion and Capitol Reef); Grand Canyon National Park; the Grand Canyon-Parshant, Vermillion Cliffs, and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments; the Kaibab, Dixie, Fishlake, and Manti-La Sal National Forests; the Glen Canyon Recreation Area, and the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, along with numerous Utah state parks.

    Per a Discogs search, musical bands/artists from around the world include Mourmansk 150, E-150, Psalm 150, 150 Watts, 150 Volts, 150P, Anonym 150, The 150 Band, The LI 150s, The 150 Friends Club and The 150 Murderous Passions.


    And on that note, I have pretty much exhausted all that I could find about the number 150. Here’s to another 150 issues of Copper!

    Header image: giant panda, from the Zoos SA website.

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