Mid-Atlantic Scale Summit 2023

October 7th brought together Scalies from six states for the annual Mid-Atlantic gathering at the home of our gracious host, Mary, in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. In attendance were Kathy and Steve from Maryland, Ann and Kurt from Virginia, Elna and Dick from New Jersey, Arline and Bill from New York, Mary Anne from Pennsylvania, Jane from New Jersey and geographical outliers Judy and Eric from Texas. Those who arrived Friday were also able to see Karen and Steve from Delaware, who joined us for dinner but had a previous commitment the following day.

As the attendees arrived on Saturday morning, they immediately gravitated to the table Mary had ready which was accumulating scales of all sizes and purposes. One item that quickly caught attention was the interesting set of Russian nesting weights brought by Kurt and Ann.

Judy and Eric brought a scale they purchased specifically for the ISASC Museum. The scale was unusual in that it had a poise on the poise and the Museum acquisition committee had confirmed the collection did not have an example with this feature. The cast iron scale, measuring 8" x 14" x 9" including the pan, was not marked as to maker although the only other one the group was aware of is marked Avery. The capacity is shown to the right of the counterweight as “To Weigh 7 LB by ½ oz.”

Judy and Eric also displayed an array of five bismar scales. The largest was a combined ruler and postal scale by C. Cleophas accompanied by its patent document dated Jan. 26, 1915. The patent explained the “ruler [provides] a weighing beam adapted to be balanced upon a pencil or other object to provide a fulcrum.”

The consensus of the group about one of the scales they brought, made of brass and copper, was that it was for weighing coins. The scale is unmarked and absent any clues as to what the gradations represent. Lastly, three shelf scales of similar design but varying sizes were grouped together. The largest one is an unusually long 19.4cm (slightly more than 7 ½ inches), not including the hanging letter clip, and weighs ½ to 20 Tola or ½ to 16 ounces.

Dick and Elna arrived with a box of brass scale parts. With the help of the group, the pieces were quickly assembled to display a beautiful Day & Millward banker’s scale. They also brought a solder scale which indicates the percentage of metals. The top scale on the beam is labeled “TIN” and the bottom “ANT” (antimony).

An international collection of candlesticks was lined up by Kathy and Steve along with a copy of a patent and an EQM. They were, from left to right:

  1. A French postal scale made for use in Belgium by N Briais;
  2. A Winfield scale with a working bell as the base;
  3. An Austrian candlestick made by Florenz in Vienna and graduated in Loth, a unit of measurement of mass in use in certain German-speaking areas prior to the adoption of the metric system in the later 1800s;
  4. An American scale with a paperweight-base probably made by Chatillon;
  5. A red household scale made by John Nolan, Boston, which has a tare button below the face; and
  6. A John Nolan postal scale. Nolan was granted a patent for each of these scales on the same day.
  7. The 2006 Issue No. 3 EQM article authored by Jan Berning describes both Nolan scales. The patent for the household model explains the taring mechanism and its use. 

After Show & Tell, lunch was served with a variety of appetizers, meatball sandwiches, sides and desserts and the afternoon passed quickly with casual conversations about family and activities. As the day ended, everyone left happy about sharing friendships and knowledge and looking forward to next year.