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Precision Balance


This piece consists of a rectangular wooden box that serves as a base to the glass-enclosed balance set above it. On the front of the box is a label inscribed with the name of the manufacturer, the style, number, capacity, and class. Below this label is a brass knob that, when turned, adjusts or zeroes the scale. A second, smaller knob on one side of the box corresponds to a rod with a forked manipulator for the damper on the scale, and brass screws on either end of the box can be used to level the whole device.

The glass cover is set on a hinge and can be lifted. Within this enclosure are two circular metal plates, and below them is a marked scale that measures both grains and grams. A red damper on this scale can be moved by manipulating the rod. Between the two plates is a circular window with a set of lines and a red needle, indicating the balance of the plates.

Accession Number: 2016.zoo.31

Alternative Name:

Primary Materials: Wood, glass, metal,


On the label on the front: “Torsion Balance Co. New York Style 272 No. 0111080 Capacity 120G Class A Made in USA”
On a paper label inside the glass enclosure: “Torsion Balance Reg. U.S. Pat. Off. Trade Mark Reg. in Canada”
On a paper label on the bottom of the device: “Torsion Balance Reg. U.S. Pat. Off. Trade Mark Reg. in Canada”
The scale measures both grains and grams: 0-15.5 “Grains” in 1-grain increments, 0-1 “Grams” in 0.1 gram increments.

Dimensions (cm):

Length = 31cm x Width = 15 x Height = 8.7


This device is used to determine the weight of small specimens.


Very good. The entire piece is dust and exhibits minor scratches. The brass pieces are slightly tarnished and the paper labels are torn.

Associated Instruments:

Manufacturer: Torsion Balance

Date of Manufacture: Early 1900s


Additional Information and References:

Historical Notes:


  • Donated to UTSIC