This balance stands on a mahogany box that, in turn, is enclosed in a mahogany case with glass front and back. The balance is brass; the bearings are steel and agate; the pans are copper. The weights are in the drawer.
The “Pollock Boston Patent” inscription on the ivory scale refers to Allan Pollock, a Bostonian who received a U.S. patent for a balance, scale and beams, in 1815. According to a brief notice in the American Journal of Science 6 (1823): 371, Pollock was one of several Americans "advantageously known to the public" as a "manufacturer of thermometers and of philosophical apparatus."
This came from the laboratory of Ira Remsen, the first professor of chemistry at The Johns Hopkins University. Its earlier history is unknown.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
date made
early nineteenth century
used by
Remsen, Ira
Pollock, Allan
Physical Description
ivory (overall material)
brass (overall material)
glass (overall material)
base: 17.9 cm x 40.7 cm x 24.5 cm; 7 1/16 in x 16 in x 9 5/8 in
each pan: 31 mm x 212 mm; 1 1/4 in x 8 3/8 in
cabinet: 65 cm x 10 cm x 33.4 cm; 25 9/16 in x 3 15/16 in x 13 1/8 in
balance: 49.8 cm x 89 cm x 24.5 cm; 19 5/8 in x 35 1/16 in x 9 5/8 in
beam: 66.5 cm; 26 3/16 in
place made
United States: Massachusetts, Boston
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Weights & Measures
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Chemistry
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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