Detecto 16 LB Balance Scale No. 1 – 1900
This week’s Throwback Thursday takes us to the year 1900 with this Detecto 16 LB Balance Scale No. 1 made by The Detecto Scale Co of New York, located in the old Williamsburg section of Brooklyn New York.
The company was started in 1900 by three immigrant brothers who were in the butcher supply business. The Jacob brothers produced baker’s scales, butchers scales, doctor’s scales, hanging scales and portion scales. Still family owned the Detecto Scale Co. remains the largest medical scale manufacturer in the United States. The company was acquired by the Cardinal scale company in 1981 the Cardinal/Detecto Co. is now located in Webb Missouri and employs over 350 people.1
Scales have always been immensely important to our society and way of life. The need to have fair and proper measurements of supplies is essential to many businesses. Scales allow us to have a way to measure and charge consumers for products. The scale is also needed to measure proper increments of ingredients & medicines. Scales have been used in bakeries, pharmacies, doctor’s offices, country stores and more since the 19th century and before. Scales became extremely important during the Gold Rush to measure the weight of Gold for payment. Weighing scales measure weight and calculate mass. A balance scale uses a pair of scales with a balance beam; by balancing a weight of a known object against the weight of the object being weighed the two weights can be accurately compared. A spring loaded scale, on the other hand, measures weight by force by balancing weight due to gravity against the force of the spring. Either type can be calibrated to read units of force or units of mass; however, the balance scale using the traditional balance beam to compare masses will read correctly even if moved to a different gravitational field strength.
The earliest scales date back to the 1600’s. Spring scales were introduced in the 1760’s and became commonly used in the 1840’s in Post Offices for measuring weights on letters and packages. Spring scales could be read instantaneously which made processing faster and easier; rather than using a balance scale and carefully balancing each item. The 1940’s brought various electronic devices to the scales, with electronic weighing machines.
This Vintage Cast Iron Dry Ingredient Scale with product basket by the Detecto Scale Company of New York is adjustable in ½ oz increments with 2LB, 4LB and 8Lb weights included. This scale is in excellent condition and is available at The PAST Antiques Marketplace. To learn more about this scale and see other amazing antiques from The PAST Antiques stop in on Route 85 in Montville, Connecticut! Check back next week for another Throwback Thursday!
1“Company History”. http://www.detecto.com/company-info/company-history/. Retrieved August 6, 2015.