Grain Balance


This simple device, also known as a chondrometer, consists of a steelyard, pedestal, and bucket. In operation, the bucket would be filled with grain, and the weight per bushel read on the scale. The form came into use in Europe in the early nineteenth century, as dealers began selling grain by weight rather than by volume. The beam of this example is marked “Corcoran & Co., London” while the slide is marked “Lbs per Bushel” and “799.”

Bryan Corcoran was a millstone builder, millwright, and instrument maker in London by 1780. His firm became Bryan Corcoran & Co. in the 1830s. Bryan Corcoran, Jr., showed a chondrometer, or Corn Balance, at the Royal Agricultural Society of England exhibition of 1879.

Ref: R. Peters, “Improved Pocket Chondrometer,” Memoirs of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture 4 (1818): 313-314.

Date Made: nineteenth century

Maker: Corcoran & Co.

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United Kingdom: England, London

Subject: Weights & Measures

See more items in: Medicine and Science: Chemistry


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of E. A. Lauste

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: CH.310958Accession Number: 134833Catalog Number: 310958

Object Name: Grain Sampler's BalanceObject Type: Balances

Measurements: bucket: 3 3/8 in x 2 3/4 in; 8.5725 cm x 6.985 cmpedestal: 7 1/8 in x 2 5/8 in; 18.0975 cm x 6.6675 cmbeam balance: 10 3/4 in x 1 1/4 in x 7/8 in; 27.305 cm x 3.175 cm x 2.2225 cmoverall: stand: 7 1/4 in x 2 5/8 in; 18.415 cm x 6.6675 cmoverall: beam: 1 1/16 in x 10 3/4 in x 1 1/4 in; 2.69875 cm x 27.305 cm x 3.175 cmoverall: bucket, with handle: 5 1/2 in x 2 5/8 in; 13.97 cm x 6.6675 cm


Record Id: nmah_1716

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