The very first weights in ancient times were stones.

Weights for balance scales (MBPO16) are brass or cast iron. They can be shaped in various ways. Bell weights are shaped like a bell and have a handle and a hole for hanging them up. Others are flat and either round or square which stack one on top of the other, with the largest and heaviest on the bottom and the smallest and lightest on the top.

In imperial measurements the lightest is the small 1/4 oz (ounce) weight, then 1/2oz, 1oz, 2oz ,4oz, 8oz and 1lb (pound). The 1lb weight is the largest and heaviest. In metric measurements these are 7g (gram), 14g, 28.5g, 56.5g, 113.5g, 227g and 454g/0.45Kg (kilogram).

For more information on how they are used please refer to Balance Scales (MBPO 16).


More information:

Date 1900s, 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s
Material(s) BrassCast IronMetal
Item number MBPO17

Questions to help you remember using this item

  • What did these weights feel like in your hand?
  • Which do you think is the heaviest and which do you think is the lightest?
  • What was the heaviest thing you used to weigh on your scales?
  • What did you weigh most often on your scales?

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