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Islands Museum


Accession number: 1995.018
Date: 1901 – 1920
Materials: brass, glass, porcelain
Measurements: 70 cm L x 29 cm W x 82 cm HMetal Scale
Measurements: 70 cm L x 29 cm W x 82 cm H x 36 cm L x 28 cm W x 82 cm HPorcelain plate
Brand: Toledo Scale Company
Model: No. 30
PATENTED U.S.A. JAN 22, 1907
Patent: January 27, 1907
Narrative: This scale was used in the early 1900s in the Crocker Bros. Store, in Freeport Nova Scotia. The store was established in 1892 by Mendal Crocker, and was run from 1910 to the 1920s by two of his sons, Egbert and George. The building was purchased in the late 1950s by the Province of Nova Scotia, and torn down to allow for the construction of the current (2007) ferry wharf. This scale was rescued from the demolition by the donor, who found it near the remains of the old store. The scale was manufactured by Toledo Scale Company, founded in 1901 by Henry Theobald, who “had seen opportunities for development in a scale invented by Allen DeVilbiss Jr. that for the first time combined the accuracy of the age-old gravity principle of weighing with the speed of an automatic indication of the weight and computed value.” Theobald hired Allen DeVilbiss Jr. to work for him, and, along with several other directors, the company began manufacturing and distributing scales. Within five years, Toledo scales were “appearing on grocery counters in all parts of the country,” despite a price that was anywhere from six to ten times more than the price of the simple balance scales grocers had previously been using in their stores. Toledo scales were pendulum-type (no springs) scales. This distinguishable characteristic would eventually lead to the inauguration of the now famous Toledo slogan, “No Springs Honest Weight.” The presence of the phrase, “Honest Weight” found on the scale can be attributed to the “honest weight movement,” a reform movement that involved the accuracy of weights and measures found in grocery scales within the nation’s food stores across North America. Between 1910 and 1915, many states in the United States and provinces in Canada, “revised their weights and measures codes and expanded their police powers to apprehend and punish dishonest weighers and measurers,” and “expanded the number and the authority of their sealers and marshalled these forces against groups, especially immigrant peddlers.” Toledo was at the foreground of this campaign, initiating “impromptu parades featuring new installations, special signs and banners, sales conventions in elaborate settings . . . and a flood of printed material written with missionary zeal.” As their market grew to include Europe and Canada, the early gold-lacquered Toledo Fan Scale model was eventually topped by a new scale model with a cylinder type chart, “giving more computations and added capacity” to grocers. By 1912 the Toledo 800, a “double-pendulum industrial portable scale” was introduced, and “became the foundation of the Toledo industrial line.” After the death of Theobald in 1926, the company continued to prosper, introducing porcelain enamel scales in the mid 1920s, self-gauging pivot floor scales and a line of Print weight scales in the 1930s. They expanded plants, formed subsidiary companies, made important changes to their corporate structure, and experienced continued growth and development through the war years and into the second half of the twentieth century.
Description: A gold lacquered metal scale with a pricing gauge and a porcelain weighing plate. The plate is set above a vertical measure resembling a small ruler that features markings from 1 to 10.
Manufacturer: Toledo Scale Company