This is a brass balance with an 11-inch beam, mounted on a wooden box with a drawer in the base. The inscription on the ivory scale reads “H. KOHLBUSCH / NEW YORK.” A label inside the drawer reads: “Directions for setting up Balance . . . HERMAN KOHLBUSCH MANUFACTURER, . . .WARREN ST., NEW YORK” (with Warren St. crossed off and replace with “59 Nassau Str.”).
Herman Kohlbusch (1822-1903) was an immigrant from Saxony who was in the United States by 1850. He later boasted that he brought “great practical experience to bear, and an intimate knowledge of the wants of chemists, jewellers, druggists, and scientific men.” He had supplied the government with scales, and won awards at the American Institute fairs of 1867, 1869, and 1874.
Ref: Illustrated New York. The Metropolis of Today (New York, 1888), p. 147.
Currently not on view
date made
late nineteenth century
around 1890
Kohlbusch, Herman
place made
United States: New York, New York
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal, brass (overall material)
overall: 45.7 cm x 28 cm x 45.7 cm; 18 in x 11 in x 18 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Weights & Measures
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Chemistry
Data Source
National Museum of American History


Add a comment about this object