Dick Johnson forwarded this article about a scale collector who opened a museum. The collection includes coin scales. -EditorJohn Schott leads a well-balanced life.
He has been a collector of scales, weights and measures since 1965, researching their history and reading magazines such as Equilibrium and a Balanced View, both publications of the International Society of Antique Scale Collectors.
His collection of hundreds of scales ranges from those large enough to weigh freight to those small enough to be carried in a pocket. His oldest scale dates to 500 A.D. and was used by Arabs to weigh coins testing the gold content and therefore the coins authenticity.
Recently, Schott moved his collection to Platte Woods and established a museum that is open by appointment.
Schott has hardware scales, including a Howe scale used to weigh nails. It is engineered to use one nail as a balance to measure out 10 nails. Among his collection of baby scales is an unusual 17th or 18th century English one with a wicker basket to hold an infant. Along the walls are large scales and commercial scales that require a penny for weight and 25 cents to tell your fortune. On the shelves are fish scales, coin measures for different denominations, scales used by gold and silver miners and a group of rare toy scales.
Also featured are opium scales from Asia contained in fish- and violin-shaped cases. One even has poppies carved in the top.
Glass-enclosed balance scales were used by pharmacists to dispense medicines.
Schott has a roomful of American and foreign postal scales from the commercial size to the desk type to the pocket varieties, one of which looks like a fountain pen. Its box advertises it as the perfect gift.
To read the complete article, see: Platte Woods museum holds hundreds of scales (www.kansascity.com/news/neighborhood/northland/story/885114.html)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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