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Infant weighing machine, Birmingham, England, 1870-1910

This weighing machine was used to measure the weight of babies and young infants. The child would be placed in the iron pan and weights would be added to the pan to make the balance level. Babies are usually weighed regularly after they are born so that their growth can be monitored. The weights pictured here range from 7lb (just over 3 kg) to 28 lb (just over 12 kg).The weighing machine was collected from Liverpool Royal Infirmary where the device was used.

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Glossary: childcare

The caring for or supervising of a child or children.

Glossary: weighing machine

A machine (sometimes referred to as a scale) for weighing persons, objects or large weights.

Glossary: measurement

Measurement is the process of estimating the magnitude of some attribute of an object, such as its length or weight, relative to some standard (unit of measurement), such as a meter or a kilogram. The act of measuring usually involves using a measuring instrument, such as a ruler, weighing scale, thermometer or speedometer which is calibrated to compare the measured attribute to a measurement unit. Metrology is the scientific study of measurement.

Glossary: baby weigher

Set of scales or other type of balance (balance scales or spring type) used to assertain the weight of a baby or small infant