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The National Computing Scale Company began in business in Cleveland, Ohio, in the late 1890s, to capitalize on the ideas of William Harley Sanderson (1844-1911). A machinist who had spent many years with the Howe Scale Company in Vermont, Sanderson obtained two patents for balances that could estimate the number of pieces in a load by determining the weight of that load. The firm moved to Beaver Falls, Pa., in the early 20th century, and was renamed the National Scale Company. It moved again, in 1909, to Chicopee Falls, Ma. It is now trading as the National Scale Co. of New England, Inc.
This heavy and ornate platform scale is marked “NATIONAL SCALE CO. CHICOPEE FALLS, MASS. U.S.A.” and “NATIONAL / SCALE CO. / NO. 34309 / PAT. OCT. 16 / 1900.” According to company literature, it had a load capacity of 100 pounds, a shipping weight of 150 pounds, a double weighing beam, and it “Accurately counts pieces weighing 1-4 Ounce and over.”
Ref: William H. Sanderson, “Platform Scale,” U.S. Patent 601,881 (April 5, 1898).
William H. Sanderson, “Weighing and Counting Machine,” U.S. Patent 659,830 (Oct. 16, 1900).
National Scale Company, National Factory Systems (Chicopee Falls, 1917), p. 11.
Currently not on view
Date made
early 20th century
National Scale Company
overall: 67.3 cm x 80 cm x 52 cm; 26 1/2 in x 31 1/2 in x 20 1/2 in
overall; scale: 26 1/2 in x 31 1/2 in x 19 1/2 in; 67.31 cm x 80.01 cm x 49.53 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of City of New York
Weights & Measures
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Chemistry
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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