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Weighing machine for infants, England, 1890-1910

This weighing machine measured the weight of babies and infants. The child was placed in the wicker basket. Weights were added to the pan to make the balance level. The weights pictured here range from 2lb (just under 1kg) to 14lb (approximately 6.5kg). Babies are usually weighed regularly after they are born to monitor their growth. The machine weights are made by Liverpool-based Henry Pooley and Sons Ltd. It was a company of mechanical engineers. It also made weighing machines for the railway industry. The base is inscribed with the words ‘Mellin’s Food’. This company made a milk modifier for feeding infants. It used these scales to promote its products.

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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

Glossary: counter scales

Scales with the weighing pans above the beamscale that employs the 'Static Enigma' principle for their operation. Two types are commonly encountered those using the 'Roberval' and 'Beranger' principles. As neither the weights used or material being weighted need to be central in the pans they are commonly used in shops on the counter, hence the name.