A scale is used to weigh items to find out their weight. They are often used in cooking to ensure the same amount of ingredients as in the recipe.

What is a Traditional Scale?

Traditional scales have two bowls hanging from either end of a lever that can pivot up and down, so the bowl with the heaviest object is lower than the other.

This means you can balance several objects with something with a known weight to measure the exact weight of something like flour or sugar.

For example, if you had something that you knew weighed 100 grams in one bowl, called the counter-weight, anything that is put in the other bowl that balances the scales will also weigh 100 grams.

People have used these kinds of scales to measure the weight of items for thousands of years; there is evidence of the Ancient Egyptians using traditional balanced scales for weighing things.

Because traditional scales require a perfect balance to measure weight, they have become the symbol for courts who weigh the evidence and are committed to being fair and balanced in their decisions.

What is a Measuring Scale?

Many other measuring scales have been invented to make weighing items for cooking more accessible and more convenient. However, in 1669 a new kind of measuring scale was created that was more compact and easier to use. The first design, called the Roberval balance, has the measuring bowls on top of the lever instead of hanging on strings.

In the 1770s, a British balance-maker called Richard Salter invented a scale that no longer needed counter-weights. Instead, this spring scale uses gravity and spring to measure the mass of objects, as the item being weighed hangs off the spring, and this pulls the needle on a dial to show the exact weight.

Weighing scales became far more valuable and reliable as more accurate scales were invented to measure the exact weight of items placed on them. The needle on the dial is pushed along the measuring scale by the item’s weight so that you can read the precise measurement, usually given in grams or kilograms.

The most significant upgrade to the design of measuring scales came with the invention of digital technology, as electronic scales can measure items accurately and give you a precise number on the digital display.

What are Bathroom Scales used for?

Bathroom scales are used for measuring a person’s weight and are helpful for people who are watching their weight, are on a diet, or are in an exercise program.

These scales are usually small platforms with a dial or digital display that a person can stand on. It will then measure a person’s weight, and the measurement will appear on the show.

Modern bathroom scales also feature other measurements that can help stay healthy, including BMI and body temperature measures.

What can you measure with a Spring Scale?

A spring scale or balance can measure different things aside from weight. Spring scales work by attaching an item to a spring that hangs down, so the heavier the article is, the more it will stretch the spring, which is connected to the measuring dial.

You may have seen spring scales used by greengrocers for weighing large amounts of fruits and vegetables. Spring scales can also be used to measure force, measured in Newtons.

What are the units of measurement used for weighing?

The mass of an object is measured using these units of measurement:

  • A Milligram (mg) is 0.001 gram
  • A Gram (g) contains 1000 milligrams
  • A Decagram (dag) contains 10 grams
  • A Hectogram (hg) contains 100 grams
  • A Kilogram (kg) contains 1000 grams
  • A Metric Tonne (t) is 1000 kilograms

Some older units of measurement from the Imperial system are still used today. These include:

  • An Ounce (oz) is 1/16th of a pound
  • A Pound (lb) converts to about 453 grams
  • A Stone (st) is 14 pounds
  • A Ton (t) is 2240 pounds

Some scales, like spring scales, can also measure units of force. This is measured using Newtons (N). This unit of measurement was named after Isaac Newton, who shaped the study of mathematics as we know it.

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