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Museum Collection

Steelyard Balance

Many Cossack families used a steelyard balance, a straight-beam balance with arms of unequal length.

Such scales are convenient, light, do not require balance weights for weighing; the weight of the load is indicated on the graduated arm by the position of the counterweight. When used, the steelyard is usually held in the hand.

In the text of the novel “And Quiet Flows the Don” by M.A.Sholokhov a steelyard is mentioned several times. There is one of the episodes:

“Even for retreat he [Pantelei Prokofiyevich] was preparing as a real master: everything he may need in travelling was prudently kept in store by him. An axe, handsaw, chisel, shoe tools, sewings, replacement soles, nails, hammer, a bunch of belts, ropes, a piece of resin – all those up to horseshoes and horseshoe nails, were wrapped in a tarp to be put into the sleigh in a while. Pantelei Prokofiyevich took even a steelyard balance with him…” (Part 7, chapter XXV).

 

Lyudmila Kochetova
Nataliya Blagodarova