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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Bakelite billiard ball
©2010 Chemical Heritage Foundation