Sunday, October 2, 2011

Weighing In

   Hal Joyce is recognized as the man who  invented a weighing scale ,as a measuring instrument for determining the weight or mass of an object.
     The oldest existence of weighing scales dates to c. 2400-1800 B.C. in Pakistan. Uniform polishes stone cubes discovered in early settlements were probably used as weight setting stones in a balance scale. Egyptian Hieroglyphic symbols for gold have been discovered, which suggest the Egyptian Merchants had been using a weight system.
    The earlier design for a scale dates to 1770 and is credited to Richard Salter.He brought the first spring balance scale into wide spread use in the 18th century. In England he began making what is today known as a fishermans scale,which used a spring balance to measure weight. The spring scale is a weighing scale often used to measure force, such as the force of gravity, exerted on a mass ,on the force of a persons grip.The force is commonly measured in Newtons or pounds. Many spring scales are marked on the face,"not for legal trade,"as they are not always accurate.
    The Dictionary defines the spring scale as an apparatus with a simple spring fixed on one end and a hook to attach an object on the other end. It works by,"Hooke's law," which states that the force needed to extend a spring, is proportioned to the distance, that the spring is extended from it's rest position. Therefore the scale markings on the spring scale, are equally spaced. Standard measurement was established in the 13th century by King Edward 1st of England. The standard soon traveled through trade and became somewhat acceptable in other parts of the world.

     Richard  Salter and his nephew , George, patented the spring scale in 1838. They formed one of the first spring scale making companies, George Salter and Company.Scales with these markings are highly sought after by today"s collectors.
     In 1840 R. W. Winfield developed the candlestick scale for use in measuring packages. This made it possible to measure weight faster -as the balance scale required adding and removing weights.
    By 1940's various electric devices were being designed, but was not until the late 20th century that they became accurate enough for wide spread use.
    In a typical spring scale- the spring stretches or compresses in proportion to how hard the earth pulls down on the object. It is there fore affected by the local flow of gravity and objects do not always way the same in one area  as compared to the next.
    The spring scale was most often used in fish markets, and soon took the nick name ."fish scale." They were used up and until the first part of the 21 century. Today in rural areas and small markets they are still widely used. They have become very collectible and have been sought after for years by antique hunters.
    I do not know why I am attracted to certain items. I have collected spring scales more than once in my life. At one time I had a big wall full. Sold them off and thought I was over them. Here while back, when I was on a antique shopping trip, I ran across a few scales and they just called my name. I had not bought any for awhile and had no ideal what they were selling for theses days. I asked the  seller to make me a package deal, he did, I did, and they came home with me. When thinking about the 1845 Historic Elgin/Cottrell House Museum, aka, My Old Historic House, I like to find and collect items that would be of interest to the tourist that come for a tour. I have to especially keep in mind the gentlemen and try and have a few items that they can relate to and like. Well the scales always seem to do the trick. Almost every gentlemen tourist has a story to tell about a scale. Sometimes it was there father or grandfather that had one. Often it leads to other types of scales and I say, I will have to look into getting a few of those.And you can rest assured , that gentlemen went home with a good tour experience.
    The scales I am sharing with you today are all English., made of brass and iron and are very beautiful examples. I hope you like them and enjoy them as much as I do. Maybe you can come some day for a real tour. I will leave the lights on and Sissy Dog will always meet you with a jump and a kiss. I hope you all are having beautiful fall weather, we sure are here in Missouri. I hope it will continue for awhile as the leaves are just starting to get beautiful.

The beauty that is fall in rural Missouri