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'Portia' baby balance, England, 1920-1950

Used in hospitals to record the weight of babies, this balance can measure up to 16 lbs (7.2 kg). When the child was placed in the pan, the spring stretched and the measurement was read. Babies are usually weighed regularly after they are born so that their growth can be monitored.

Object number:

1982-561/17 Pt1



Glossary: beamscale

Scales with a horizontal bar pivoting about a central fulcrum, creating equal-length arms; suspended from the ends of the arms are pans or baskets, in one of which is placed the item being weighed and in the other, a premeasured weight.

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

Glossary: spring balance

Balance in which the weight of the sample or the exertion of a force is balanced and thus measured by the extension of a spring.