Michigan Get-Together 2022

What a gorgeous day it was on September 17 in west Michigan. Larry and Dee Dee H. were first-time hosts at their beautiful rural setting north of Fremont, where Gerber, the baby products company, was founded in 1927. Twenty of us gathered, most from Michigan, but several drove in from Illinois to join us.

Larry specializes in restoring price computing scales, given a start by having a Dayton barrel-top scale passed along from the grocery store owned by his grandfather and father. Larry has done a wonderful job of taking some scales in quite poor condition and presenting them now in original colors, decals and hardware whenever possible.

Ben S. donated a prize, won by Utz S., of a clock that his son Brian had made using a brass scale face and constructing a wood frame. Besides adding a bit of fun to the day, it is an artistic and meaningful piece. Thanks, Brian and Ben!

A show-and-tell session always brings us new information and sometimes new questions. Greg M. presented what looks like a typical Mordan Roberval postal scale until you get closer. Inscribed on the frame is FROM THE CHOIR BOYS AT ST. MARKS WORSLEY IN REMEMBRANCE OF DAYS AT MULGRAVE 1875. Probably not too many of those around!

Don S. offered a portable postal scale also known as a traveling weigher with S. MORDAN & CO LONDON stamped on the letter plate. What makes this scale more unusual is that the weights are in grammes indicating that it was a Mordan made for the French market.

Allan R. started with a spring scale that says to only use it horizontally. For what? No one could help him answer that question. His other showing was an inexpensive Hanson postal scale which came with a brochure. He bought this scale specifically because the brochure is the only place he has found the Hanson street address when it was located in the city where he lives. As is rather typical in this day and age, the plant site is now a housing development.

Gregg M. broadened the discussion with the weights he brought. One is from a set that is all cast iron, but there is no maker or other information on it. Since our meeting Gregg has given us an update. He found an Equilibrium article from 1983 by Michael Crawforth identifying it as an Avery square bell weight circa 1900. Two other weights he shared are made of gun metal, and another was a lead weight which has very distinct markings. These are English weights about 500 years old. All have interesting designs and verification stamps.

Jan and Bill B. showed a very small steelyard by Fairbanks. Our best conclusion was it’s for measuring thread based on a sample of cloth. The cloth sample is cut using the scale’s base as a template

For the conclusion, Larry demonstrated the product he uses to clean old brass, like pans and beams. It’s call Flitz Instant Brass & Copper Tarnish Remover. Just spray it on and wait a few minutes. He then finishes with Flitz Polish/Corrosion Protection which contains bee’s wax. So, of course, Larry, the retired beekeeper, would find and use this outstanding product. It’s found at local hardware stores and online.

This wonderful day of scalie fellowship ended with our good-byes, promises to see everyone next year and many thanks to Larry and Dee Dee for hosting our gathering.