Gem Postal Scale

Astronomy

Accession Number: 2018.ast.76

Description:

This is a small spring-run metal weighing scale. It consists of a small ornamented weighing platform fixed to a spring tucked inside a cover. When items are placed on the weighing platform, an indicator arm moves against a quarter-circle paper scale to indicate the weight of the object.

Alternative Name: Weighing Scale

Primary Materials: Metal: Iron Alloy, Paper

Markings:

On the paper scale: “THE GEM POSTAL SCALE”

“LETTERS
MERCHANDISE
BOOKS AND CIR.
NEWSPAPERS

WARRANTED ACCURATE”

Stamped into the metal underneath the weighing platform: “TRINER SCALE AND MFG. CO.
CHICAGO U.S.A.
PAT.
FEB 23-1904
AND ??????”

On an embossed sticker stuck to the base of the scale: “DUNLAP OBS.”

Dimensions (cm): Length = 11.5, Width = 7, Height = 11.

Function:

This scale automatically indicates the price of mailing certain items such as letters or books.

Condition:

Very Good: The surface of the scale is slightly scratched in papers. The paper scale is yellowed, but otherwise in good condition. The exposed metal components, such as the spring and indicator arm, are rusted. The stamped patent information is also rusted around the lettering.

Manufacturer: Triner Scale & Manufacturing Company

Date of Manufacture: Early 20th Century

Provenance:

This object was likely moved from the David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill in 2008, upon the sale of the observatory. It was stored at the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics until 2017, when it was moved to a new storage location in McLennan Physical Laboratories.