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Weighing Device

Weighing Device

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1950 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Portia Read (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Knotted string and stamped metal

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Annabelle Hicks

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This weighing device was used to measure the weight of newborn babies. It comprises of a string net holder for the baby to lie in and a metal spring balance. It was simple to use and easy to transport. This device was used in the 1950's to weigh two sisters who grew up in Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands.

Physical description

A brown string mesh holder with two metal rings at each end. These rings attach on to a metal spring balance that is imprinted with the maker's name and place of manufacture.

Place of Origin

England (made)


ca. 1950 (made)


Portia Read (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Knotted string and stamped metal

Marks and inscriptions

'Portia Read.'
Makers mark

'Baby Balance / Made in England'


Length: 83.5 cm maximum, Width: 25 cm maximum

Object history note

This baby weighing device was used to weigh Rosemary Moss (born 15.1.1951) and Annabelle Moss (born 17.8.1953) who grew up in Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands. It was kept by their mother as a precious keepsake, and was only rediscovered after her death in 2009.

Descriptive line

For a baby: string mesh holder suspended from a sprung weighing scale; Portia brand made in England, ca. 1950


String; Metal


Knotting; Stamping (marking)


Children & Childhood

Production Type

Mass produced


Museum of Childhood

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