From the Library of Scale Tales
  A Scale, a Friend, Fate and a Connection with the Past

When a friend found out that my husband and I collect antique scales, she emphatically insisted we "adopt" a scale she had. It was used for display years before in the women's clothing store owned by her parents. The scale was large and did not fit the style of her home; but it had emotional memories for her; so she had kept it, storing it in pieces in a box in a closet. Although she didn't know how to put it together, she thought all the parts were there except for the plate which had been broken long ago.

Once my friend started talking about her parent's store, I was able to put two and two together. I definitely remembered the store from many, many moons ago when I was in college. Very often I walked from campus to downtown just to shop there. Although I didn't remember the scale specifically, I realized that during one of my trips I had probably seen it in the store. Now I also had an emotional connection to the scale. This clinched our decision to accept her offer.

After picking it up and bringing it home, we set about putting the scale together. That part went relatively quickly, as indeed all the pieces were there.

With its 32" height, the equal-arm beam scale displayed beautifully on the sideboard in our dining room. The name of the maker, Anderson Brothers of Glasgow, was inscribed on its eye-catching 17" wide brass beam. We were very happy with our new acquisition.

(Click on photos for larger images)

The search for a replacement plate began immediately. We would have been happy with any plate – no matter what was on it – to complete the scale. Our first step was to look at the plates we already had. In conjunction with our scales, we collect odd scale plates of various sizes imprinted with different emblems and manufacturers' names. However, even though we have a fair number of these, none were the correct size.

So, the hunt was on! We started with perusing online auctions figuring that would be our best bet. This is always a bit of a risk, because even if the size is given in the description, it is not always accurate or sometimes even the right size doesn't fit on the scale correctly. Knowing that single scale plates do not come up for sale that often, we assumed it would take a while to find one.

However, much to our astonishment, within only a few weeks my husband's daily review of eBay paid off big time when he found an Anderson Brothers scale plate, purportedly the exact size, offered for sale. After putting in the winning bid, we waited anxiously for its arrival not knowing for sure if it would work. You can imagine our extreme delight when we set it in place and it fit perfectly. Considering the chances of finding any plate that would work, much less one from the exact maker and in excellent condition, we took it as a sign that it was meant to be.

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This idea of fate was reinforced later that year when we found through another auction a 7 pound bell weight to go with the scale. The handle on the weight is stamped Anderson Bro Glasgow. It matches wonderfully since "TO WEIGH 7 LB" is engraved on the beam of the scale.

To this day the scale remains displayed in our dining room. With its prominent presence, it often starts a conversation about weighing and measuring when we have new folks over who aren't aware of our deep-seated interest in collecting antique scales.

It also invokes good feelings with the connection to the friend who gave it to us. Years later she came by our house and saw it on display. She was gratified to know that her parents' scale was being well looked after. Little did she know of the chain of events she set in motion that first day she asked us to take it.

This Scale Tale was written by Judy S.