The Weight of Justice

The beautiful Howard & Davis Gold Scales now rest on an antique table. The table recalls the time when the scales were in the State Library’s facility in the State Capitol Building. Photograph by Brittneydawn Cook.
Gold Rush expert Tom Martin (left) and Gary Kurutz pose with this antique treasure in the J. S. Holliday Rare Materials Reading Room. Martin rebalanced the scales and gave a riveting demonstration on how bankers and merchants weighed the miner’s gold dust and nuggets.
Detail of the scales showing the ivory handle lever “whereby the beam, scales (pans,) and weights are raised for any operation in weighing, and let down as soon as the operation is completed.” Benjamin Dearborn, Balance Factory, Boston, November 1817. Photograph by Brittneydawn Cook.

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California State Library Foundation

California State Library Foundation

501(c)(3) that helps provide funding and support to the California State Library. Please visit our website for more information www.cslfdn.org.