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This is a Robervahl balance in an incised wood box with a marble top, wood and glass lid, drawer with several weights inside, and two metal pans with arrows that point toward one another. A brass label on the lid reads “HENRY TROEMNER / MAKER / Philadelphia.”
Troemner displayed four counter balances based on “Hoffman’s patent” at the American Pharmaceutical Association meeting in 1867. Although he did not identify Hoffman, Troemner did note that, as was the case with the “French or Béranger balance,” the working parts were in a box, below the pans. And, having but a single beam, there were fewer bearings and thus less friction. The form proved remarkably successful.
Ref: “Exhibition at the Annual Meeting of the American Pharmaceutical Association,” American Journal of Pharmacy (Nov. 1867): 568-572.
Henry Heil, Illustrated Catalogue and Price-List of Chemical Apparatus (St. Louis, 1903), p. 117.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Balance, Box Prescription
date made
late nineteenth century
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
marble (overall material)
wood (overall material)
overall: 7 1/4 in x 12 1/2 in x 6 5/16 in; 18.415 cm x 31.75 cm x 16.03375 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Weights & Measures
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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