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Object Name Balance
Date 1850s?-1863
Description A brass handheld pocket balance scale that is surmised was once used by Cyrus Jacobs to weigh gold. Written on the back of the case is "Used in Idaho in 1863 to 1870, Boise City, Idaho. Cyrus Jacobs gave these to me in 1870. Gold (? or DWT?) Scales. Wm (William) Donaldson (?)." The two brass plates are each suspended by three green strings, each 5 inches in length. The beam from which the plates are suspended measures 5.75 inches. In the middle of the beam is a black metal indicator arrow. A small piece of orange ribbon is attached to the apparatus around the indicator arrow. When weighing gold, one would hold the scale by this piece of ribbon. The scale fits into a red velvet lined case that has a metal-lidded (1.75" x 1.625") compartment (1.625" x 1.0") to hold the six weights. The brass weights found with this scale each weigh 1 DWT (pennyweight, see notes), 2 DWT, 4 DWT, and 5 DWT. One weight possibly not made of brass labeled "3y" weighs 5 DWT, and one thin piece of brass with six plus signs punched onto its surface weighs 0.375 grams. The case is in multiple pieces, the thin piece of wood for the lid has split into two pieces, and the green paper cover is detached. It appears that the green paper used to wrap around the majority of the case, with the exception of a rectangular area on the bottom of the case. At the center of the green paper an eagle is embossed. The eagle is looking right and has a striped shield on its chest. The eagle is holding an olive branch in its left claw and four arrows in its right claw. The fabric lining has come unglued from almost all areas. The wood section that makes up the interior of the case is detached from the thin wood base. This section still has part of the latch system attached to it. A small brass hook is attached at the front center of the wood block. It appears that the back of the case is missing, there are no hinges or other hardware that would suggest how the case was originally assembled.
Object Number 2004.006.001