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Louis A. Matos (ca. 1837-1910)—a Cuban immigrant who worked as a pharmacist in Philadelphia and assisted in the Spanish edition of the United States Pharmacopoeia—submitted this model, along with his patent application, to the U.S. Patent Office in 1868. The “BUCKELEW & WATERMAN PHILADA.” inscription refers to the firm that made the model. John D. Buckelew was a wealthy farmer from New Jersey who provided the capital for the scale maker, Albert G. Waterman. The “PATD JULY 7, 1863” inscription indicates the date of a patent issued to Sandy Harris, a former employee of the Customs House in Philadelphia. Matos’ counter balance was a modification of Harris’ design.
Ref: Louis A. Matos, “Improvement in Balances,” U.S. Patent 78,532 (June 2, 1868).
Sandy Harris, “Improvement in Balances,” U.S. Patent 39,145 (July 7, 1863).
Kurt Beyreis, “Sandy Harris, Scale Inventor,” Equilibrium (2006): 3110-3112.
Steve Beare, “Buckelew & Waterman—A Short-Lived Philadelphia Business,” Equilibrium (2006): 3113-3118.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
date made
Buckelew, John D.
Waterman, Albert G.
Buckelew & Waterman
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Associated Place
United States: New Jersey
overall: 19.8 cm x 22.8 cm x 46.3 cm; 7 13/16 in x 9 in x 18 1/4 in
pan: 22.8 cm; x 9 in
overall: 6 3/4 in x 18 in x 9 in; 17.145 cm x 45.72 cm x 22.86 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Weights & Measures
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Medicine and Science: Chemistry
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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