I picked up our new hanging, analog scale yesterday. It’ll hold up to 20 pounds and has a nice, classic look. The folks at Bay State Scale had it all tuned up and calibrated and ready to go.
Today, I took it over to the Boston Weights and Measures Department, to have it sealed and certified (for $30). The department head, Bob McGrath, has to be the nicest city employee I’ve ever met. We talked for a while and he even showed me the collection of antique weights and measures on display in their lunch room. They had weights in there stamped P.M., for Province of Massachusetts, because they were made in 1740. They had copper gallon standards, a bunch of value weights for weighing gold, a yardstick, bushels, and all kinds of weights. For a history geek like me, it was a great little find.
There are six field inspectors in the Boston Weights and Measures department, and Mr. McGrath told me that they inspect 11,000 scales, pumps, meters, etc, every year. Common, certified weights and measures are at the very heart of how commerce works and are one of the most essential parts of civil government, but I think it’s a function that most of us take for granted. One thing I love about farming is how it shows me these reminders of how our world really works.