Smithsonian museums continue to be closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. Read a message from our director, and check our website and social media for updates.

Weighing and Distributing Scales

Weighing and Distributing Scales

<< >>
This is the patent model for a device that would weigh and distribute equal quantities of liquids, grains, or other materials that would flow into cans or bags or other containers. It was designed by Henry Fairbanks (1830-1918), a graduate of Dartmouth College and the Andover Theological Seminary who worked for E. & T. Fairbanks, his family’s firm in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.
Ref: Henry Fairbanks, “Improvement in Automatic Weighing and Distributing Scales,” U.S. Patent 110,965 (January 17, 1871).
Currently not on view
Object Name
automatic weighing and distributing scales
Object Type
Patent Model
Date made
patented by
Fairbanks, Henry
E. and T. Fairbanks and Company
place made
United States: Vermont, Saint Johnsbury
frame: 9 1/2 in x 3 5/8 in x 10 1/4 in; 24.13 cm x 9.2075 cm x 26.035 cm
overall: 9 1/2 in x 3 7/8 in x 10 1/8 in; 24.13 cm x 9.8425 cm x 25.7175 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
patent number
Weights & Measures
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Chemistry
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.

Note: Comment submission on our collection pages is temporarily unavailable. Please check back soon!

If you have a question or require a personal response, please visit our FAQ or contact page.