From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:
Note: Originally, prime denoted the first quarter of the artificial day, reckoned from 6 a. m. to 6 p. m. Afterwards, it denoted the end of the first quarter, that is, 9 a. m. Specifically, it denoted the first canonical hour, as now. Chaucer uses it in all these senses, and also in the sense of def. 1, above.
6. (Chem.) Any number expressing the combining weight or equivalent of any particular element; -- so called because these numbers were respectively reduced to their lowest relative terms on the fixed standard of hydrogen as 1. [Obs. or Archaic]
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