Fun facts you didn’t know about scales

Humans have been using scales for thousands of years. Today, they’re part of our daily lives — we use them to weigh ourselves in the bathroom, to buy Brussels sprouts and fish or to weigh loads in large transport trucks. We all know that scales measure weight and mass, but here are a few fun things you may not know about these essential tools.

  • Ancient Egyptians invented the first scale in about 3100 BC – a balance scale consisting of two weighing pans hanging from a central beam, equidistant apart. A merchant would place goods on one side and coins on the other to assess the item’s value.

  • The word “scale” originates from words like skal, scala and schaal, which mean “bowl” and “drinking cup” in several different languages from the 1200s and earlier.

  • The astrological sign Libra is represented by a balance scale, the only zodiac sign represented by an inanimate object.

  • Leonardo da Vinci is credited with inventing the self-indicting scale in the 15th century. The scale didn’t require standard weights to measure an object. Instead, the scale itself displayed the measurement.

  • After the invention of the coil spring in 1763, Richard Salter invented the spring scale in 1770. These scales are easier to use and more time-efficient than a balance scale. By 1840, spring scales were a common household item.

  • Early electronic weighing scales were invented in the 1940s, the predecessor for modern-style scales, which use load cells to measure pressure.

  • One industry that relies heavily on scales is the post office, which weighs packages and letters to determine the postage price.

  • The heaviest object ever weighed was the Revolving Service Structure (RSS) of launch pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Twenty-one jacks lifted the structure and measured the mass of the RSS as about 5.34 million pounds (about 2200 metric tonnes).

  • The world’s lightest material is graphene aerogel, which weighs only 0.16 milligrams per cubic centimetre. It has excellent oil-absorbing abilities that are useful in cleaning disastrous oil spills. The material is 7.5 times lighter than air.

Legal for trade scale rental, sales and service in Calgary

Accurate/Western Scale Co. Ltd. has a comprehensive inventory of scales for all applications and industries, from precision balances to truck and livestock scales. We also provide scale delivery and installation services and scale rentals. Contact us today to learn more about our high-quality scales and maintenance and repair services.

Recent News


Precision Agriculture: How Certified Scales Enhance Farming Practices

Scales have long been part of trade and agriculture. From ancient Egypt and China to the Roman Empire and onward, various traders and merchants have used scales to assess the value of goods.... Read More

Certified Scales Help Ensure Safety & Compliance in the Food Processing Industry

Processing and selling food is a highly regulated industry. It requires adherence to safety standards and protocols, including precise measuring on a certified industrial scale in Alberta. This article will explore scale certification... Read More
The impact of weighing accuracy on quality control in the manufacturing industry

The impact of Weighing Accuracy on Quality Control in the Manufacturing Industry

Precision is paramount in the manufacturing industry. Every component, every material and every step must be followed to a tee to produce exceptional quality goods. That’s why weighing accuracy plays such a vital... Read More