These Kitchen Scales are Spring Scales. The spring scale, as the name implies, measures the pressure (or the tension) exerted on a spring to deduce the weight of an object. Spring scales are still common today because they are cheap to make, but they are not quite as accurate as the electronic systems designed and perfected during the 20th century.

The first spring balance Scale in Britain was made around 1770 by Richard Salter of Bilston, near Wolverhampton. Salter Housewares itself began life in the late 1760’s. At this time Richard Salter, a spring maker, began making ‘pocket steelyards’, a scale similar to the fisherman’s scale of today.

Some kitchen scales come with bowls making it extremely easy to weigh out liquid ingredients or to prepare a recipe without having to worry about making another dish dirty. This makes the process very easy, as otherwise it can be difficult to find a bowl that is not too heavy to easily use on the scale.

The Scales in the picture show Imperial Pounds and Ounces (lbs and oz.) Modern Scales(quite often digital ones show Metric grams and kilos) .Other than kitchen scales there are several different types of scales, for different uses, available:

Balance Scales – either using two bowls either side of the central weighing area which once balanced evenly with each other can provide an accurate matching weight; or a bowl on one side and a plate on the other on which you place relevant weights until both sides ‘balance’.

Physicians Scales -These scales are much more expensive than the scale an average person has but are incredibly accurate and easy to use. They are commonly found in a doctor’s consulting room, and feature a flat platform, a weight beam that can be read by the patient and the doctor, and sliding weights to help determine the weight of the patient.

Infant and Toddler Scales – a weighing sling (spring balanced), also called the ‘Salter Scale’ is used for measuring the weight of children under two years old, to the nearest 0.1 kg.

It can be very difficult to accurately weigh infants and young toddlers, and since it’s not sanitary to lay them down on a scale to get an accurate measurement, buying a curved scale specially designed to carefully hold them is the best option. These are common in paediatrician surgeries.

Luggage Scales – with recent new rules from airlines about the amount and weight of luggage can be taken on a plane, more and more people are looking for fast and easy ways to weigh their luggage. Using a dedicated luggage scale is the best way to do this. These spring scales work by hooking it onto the handle of the luggage. When the scale and luggage are lifted, the weight of the luggage works on the scale to show the weight.

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More information:

Date 1950s
Material(s) Metal
Item number MBPO253

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  • Do you use Kitchen Scales when cooking?
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