How to Read Old Scales for Weighing Cotton

Although modern cotton farmers weigh batches of the white, fluffy goods with electronic scales, this was not always the case. Cotton growers in the first half of the 20th Century used simple balance-beam scales to weigh their cotton bounty. If you have the chance to weigh cotton or other materials using one of these antique scales, the following steps can help you read the measurements correctly.

Things You'll Need

  • Old cotton-weighing scale
  • Cotton or similar materials

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Make sure that the small weight or “P” has been centered along the arm of the scale where the weight of the cotton made it balance.

Read the numbers on the scale beam where the “P” is now positioned.

Note that the number located just below the "P" represents the weight in pounds of the cotton or other materials being measured on the scale.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure you are wearing corrective lenses or glasses if you have vision problems to read the cotton scale easily and accurately. If you're unsure of your scale reading, another pair of eyes always helps.

References

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