Michigan Gathering 2021


When we started planning our Michigan Gathering in early summer, we agreed that we had no idea whether there would be very few people or quite a few – it’s still not a normal year. We also said mid-September has a much better chance of good weather, rather than holding it later.

Optimism paid off!

On September 18, we had 20 people – scalies, friends, spouses and hosts – at Jack’s home, which is half-way up the lower peninsula and not far from Lake Michigan. And, it was a beautiful day, too! Some areas have regional meetings, but we had a super-regional group. Folks came from Virginia, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Minnesota (by way of the ferry across Lake Michigan), as well as Michigan.

Jack has a wonderful and varied collection, including scales that many long-time members had never seen. For example, check our ISASC website for a “Scale Tale” about a Dayton Price Computing Scale. It’s Jack’s, and we got to admire it and play with it, like kids in a toy store. Of course, Jack didn’t end up with all the scales he started with that day as a few happy buyers loaded their vehicles with their “new” old stuff.

“I forgot about show-and-tell; so, I had to stop at an antique store and buy this.” That was Allan’s excuse for bringing such a large item: a Chatillon lollipop people scale. The rest of us had nothing larger than a small box, with Kurt winning the small-item prize with his set of weights for adjusting the force of piano keys.

There was lots of discussion about Larry’s scale by Jones Scale Works, the clover-shaped weights and its founder Edward F. Jones. Bill brought a 1950s-60s advertisement with an antique scale showing on the far left, having nothing to do with the ad. Gregg explained the unusual mechanism on his Red Letter Postal Scale.

From Fred we learned about his wooden equal-arm scale from New Guinea used by the Dani tribe. In addition Greg showed a set of Dutch “ons” weights that are no longer “ounces” but rather 100 grams. Jan’s contribution was a model for making a mold for a weight or at least that was the general consensus of what it was reached by those who had an opinion.

In other words, show-and-tell was reflective of our group—fun, informative and a diverse collection of interesting stuff!

Many thanks to Jack for hosting this event and amassing such a wide-ranging and appealing collection!