Vanishing Icons


Weights and scales

By Gale Trussell
Journal Correspondent

Mankind has needed a system of weights and measurements since the times of Adam and Eve. Various systems have been invented and used by different groups of people around the world. As technology improved and the industrial age came about, mechanical devices were invented to use for weighing and measuring items and products. One of those items was the mechanical scale seen in the photo. Just about every grocery store in central Louisiana had this type of scale in the mid-1900's. It was accurate, convenient, and generally accepted as "the" way to weigh products. It was usually seen in the meat department for weighing out beef, pork, and chicken. Back then, a dollar's worth of meat was a healthy piece of meat. Today, it might get you a smell. The scales were always "white" as if that helped make it sanitary. To insure safety, a sign saying "sanitary" was usually on the scale.

Today, we use electronic, digital type scales. Nothing wrong with that. The old scales that we had in the early days are vanishing icons. Just another part of our history and heritage.