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A bismar (or desemer) is a simple balance with a weight at one end of the beam, a load hook at the other end, and a moveable fulcrum in between. This example is made of steel. The side of the beam is stamped in a circle “MARIEFORS + KELLOKOSKY +” and the weight is stamped with a crown and “1946 2.”
Kellikosky is the name of a village in the Finnish municipality of Tuusula; Mariefors is its Swedish name. An axe factory was established there in the early nineteenth century.
Ref: Herrmann Sökeland “On Ancient Desemers or Steelyards,” Smithsonian Institution Annual Report (1900): 551-564.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Kellokoski-Marifors Forge
handle: 16 cm x 35 cm; 6 5/16 in x 13 3/4 in
overall: 79 cm x 3.8 cm x 17.8 cm; 31 1/8 in x 1 1/2 in x 7 in
hook: 10 cm; 3 15/16 in
overall: 34 in x 3 3/4 in x 2 1/4 in; 86.36 cm x 9.525 cm x 5.715 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Weights & Measures
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Medicine and Science: Chemistry
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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