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Mettler B5 Single-Pan Balance

  • ca. 1947
  • Manufactured by Mettler Instruments AG (now Mettler-Toledo)
    Made in Hightstown, New Jersey
  • 18 in. H x 19.5 in. W x 11.375 in. L
    Glass, metal, plastic
  • Not on display
  • Gift of W. R. Grace and Co.
  • 2005.130


E. Mettler introduced the first ever single-pan precision analytical balance in 1947. Single-pan balances use the principle of “substitution weighing,” whereby one side of the beam bears a constant load and weights are gradually removed to achieve equilibrium. Weighing became much quicker as a result, because knobs could easily control the addition and removal of weight. The enclosed casing ensures that air currents and dust do not disturb the delicate balance, and human error is reduced because the weights are not directly handled.

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Arnold O. Beckman

CHF’s Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry was started with a generous grant from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation in 1987.



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