Antique Brass Steelyard Scale; Old Primitive Roman Balance; Dated 1907


Here's a rare and primitive tool we found while visiting the Baltic country of Lithuania. This is an steelyard scale, sometimes referred to as a Roman balance. It's saddled with a movable fulcrum, on which both the handle and the hook are attached. Weights aren't needed because the fulcrum is moved to balance the beam. It's held by the top handle, and what is being weighed is hung from the hook. The rod is slid left or right until it balances horizontally. The weight of the object, in this case up to 90 kilograms, is read from the engravings on the arm.

This steelyard's beam and fulcrum are solid brass while the hook and handle are forged iron. The beam is stamped "1907" for the year it was manufactured, and it also has a Russian maker's marking. It measures 17 7/8 inches long and weighs around 2 pounds. This type of scale has been in use for more than 2000 years. This particular steelyard is in very good condition and would look great on display on a wall, among other antiques, primitives, and industrial items.


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