Market Lavington Museum

Manchur’s spring balance

At Market Lavington Museum, we have several spring balances, but this one is very different in design from the others.

It is a Manchur’s spring balance and we believe they were used on farms to give a rough idea of the weight of carcasses, hay bales, sacks of wool and the like. The load pulls the oval spring, causing the needle to move over the calibrated scale. It has two rings and two hooks. The small ones enable the balance to be used for loads between 0 and 50 lbs (pounds weight).

On the other side, there is a scale for heavier loads (suspended from the large ring and hanging on the large hook). This scale goes from 0 to 300 lbs.

Imperial units of mass were:-

16 oz (ounces) = 1 lb (pound)

14 lbs = 1 st (stone)

8 stones = 1 cwt (hundredweight)

20 cwt = 1 ton

Attached to our record card for this artefact is a magazine article about a similar balance found on a farm in Norfolk.

It informs us that the Manchur’s balance was invented in America in the mid nineteenth century and became illegal in 1907.