Escali’s Back-to-School Week Lessons: History

The History of Scales

Scales have been an integral part of society for centuries and have evolved with cultural and human evolution. From the time we are born and throughout our lives, weight and measurements are vital information. Scales (balances) were essential in trading practices because the value of the goods being traded was determined by their equality in weight.  The oldest evidence of scales came from the Indus River Valley which is modern-day Pakistan. Polished stones were the weight-settings that the goods were weighed against. The number of stones needed to equal the levy system, the more “valuable.” Though no physical evidence of the earliest scales survived, archaeologists discovered paintings and large collections of the stones within ancient village artifacts.

The early Egyptian scales were constructed with a column and rope that tied to both ends and had trays in which the goods were placed on. Similar to the scale that the Lady of Justice holds, this system was supported by a column in the middle and the scale would tip in favor of the object that was heavier.

The Romans also used a balance for trading, new inventions and construction purposes. The balance between the two weighing trays evolved through the invention of a hook that measured weight upon the object’s gravitational pull.  The graduation of weight and measurements vastly improved and this was the basis (using singular gravitational pull) from which all future scales would be developed.

The first dial/self-indicating scale was invented in the late fifteenth century by Leonardo da Vinci. His graduated dial scales were unlike any of the previous traditional scales because instead of measuring by equivalence of two weights, the weight of a single object could be determined by attaching to a single end of the weighing system, as the dial would indicate the weight. Da Vinci’s invention was well ahead of its time and actually wasn’t manufactured until three hundred years after his death.

After WWII, weighing technology grew rapidly. Military advances evolved throughout the world and so did the requirements for a sophisticated weighing system. Digital scales emerged with the forthcoming of electronic goods. Digital technology allowed for an increased density capability, integrated complex connection circuits, and LCD displays. Manufacturers adapted to  produce scales in large numbers as the need increased as well. As you can see, the scale was improved upon with greater technological advances and resources that became available with the times and most likely will evolve from today’s standards as well.

In law, the Lady of Justice holds a scale in her hand for symbolism. The scale represents the balance between fairness and truth that the justice system always strives for. Justitia, the Roman goddess of justice  also depicts the balance of opposition and support a legal case has where Lady Justice is responsible for weighing the fairness of the verdict. In a literal sense, the scale can be looked upon as each side of a case. Each side tips once evidence and arguments are made and the jury is responsible to determine which side is heavier than the other to prove whether of not there is a guilty party.

In today’s modern world,  digital kitchen and bathroom scales are not only evolving with technology, but consumers’ needs as well. Escali is committed to the evolution and is continually working to fit those needs. Consumers today have a want and need for information available immediately and  right in the palm of their hands. Later this month,  Escali will introduce new SmartConnect™ digital kitchen and bathroom scales along with Apple app connectivity (more on those later!).

An  essential product that was invented centuries ago, simply using polished stones, will take one step further into the future of innovation and Escali is proud to be at that forefront.

food scale bathroom scale

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