Exploring the World of Antique Scales: Identifying Different Types

Types of Antique Scales

Antique scales are fascinating pieces that were used for measuring weight in various settings. They come in different styles and designs, reflecting the craftsmanship and technology of their respective eras. Here are some common types of antique scales you may come across:

1. Balance Scales

Balance scales are one of the oldest types of scales, consisting of a horizontal beam suspended on a central pivot point. Each end of the beam holds a weighing pan where the items to be weighed are placed. Antique balance scales can be found in a wide range of sizes and materials, from delicate ornamental scales to sturdy industrial scales.

2. Beam Scales

Beam scales, also known as equal-arm scales, feature a horizontal beam with a fulcrum in the center. The beam is marked with graduated increments and often has sliding weights that can be adjusted to find the balance. Beam scales were commonly used in commercial settings for weighing large quantities of goods.

3. Platform Scales

Platform scales have a large flat platform on which the items to be weighed are placed. The weight is typically displayed on a dial or a set of markers. Antique platform scales can range from small countertop models to large floor-standing scales used in warehouses or markets.

4. Counter Scales

Counter scales are smaller scales designed for use on countertops or shop counters. They often feature a decorative design and are enclosed in a glass case. Counter scales were commonly used in general stores and shops to weigh items such as produce, candies, or spices.

5. Postal Scales

Postal scales were specifically designed for weighing mail and packages. They typically have a flat platform or a hanging hook and a dial or indicator to display the weight. Antique postal scales often have intricate details and were used in post offices or private correspondence.

6. Analytical Scales

Analytical scales, also known as precision scales, are highly accurate scales used for precise measurements in scientific or laboratory settings. They typically feature a sensitive balance mechanism and are designed to measure small quantities with great precision.

7. Coin Scales

Coin scales were used to weigh coins to ensure their value and authenticity. They often have specific compartments or holders for different denominations of coins and a graduated scale for precise measurements.

These are just a few examples of the many types of antique scales available. Each type has its own unique features, historical significance, and aesthetic appeal, making them sought-after collectibles for antique enthusiasts and collectors.