Balance scale

Maker and role
L. Oertling, Manufacturer
Production date

Object detail

Accession number
Set of chemist's scales in glass case. This scale is an analytical balance which would have been used to measure mass to a very high degree of precision. The balance was kept in a glass case so that dust did not collect, and so that any current in the room did not affect the delicate balance. These types of balance scales are often used in laboratories.
Brief History
Likely a bullion balance for weighing gold and manufactured by L. Oertling.

Ludwig Oertling (1818-1893) was a German instrument maker who came to England in 1844. In 1847 he set up his own business in London. From about 1854 to 1860 he collaborated with George H Makins (assayer to the Bank of England) to produce an ‘Improved Assay Balance’. It was so successful that it became the prototype for many generations of Oertling assay balances. Oertlings became the biggest maker of precision balances in Great Britain.

Between 1850 and 1868, Ludwig Oertling and Edward Wilds Ladd worked in a professional partnership, known as Ladd & Oertling. The partnership dissolved in 1868, and after this the company became L. Oertling Ltd. In 1925 it became part of the of the Avery Group, now Avery Weigh-Tronix.

The last Oertling balances were manufactured in 1996.
Credit Line
L. Oertling. 1850-1900. Balance scale, 1970.380.1. The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).


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