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Collection Summary
Administrative Information
Access:
Publication Rights:
History
Scope and Content
Acquisition Information
Separated Materials
Container List
Papers and Photographs
Boxed Volumes
Unboxed Volumes

Howe Scale Company Records

Collection Summary

Repository
University of Vermont Libraries Special Collections Burlington, Vermont 05405-3596
Creator
Howe Scale Company (Rutland, Vt.)
Title
Howe Scale Company Records
Dates [inclusive]
1856-1961
Quantity
3 cartons, 7 volumes
Shelf location
Special Collections, Bailey/Howe Library.
Language
English
Abstract
The Howe Scale Company Papers include correspondence, minutes of meetings, newspaper clippings, photographs, advertising material, pamphlets, catalogs, broadsides and other printed material, price and parts lists, operations and sales manuals, and other materials for the years 1856-1961.

Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item] Howe Scale Company Records, Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Vermont, Bailey/Howe Library, Special Collections © 1998 

Access:

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights:

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Manuscripts.

Acquisition Information

Most of the papers were received as a gift from the Howe Scale Co. in 1959. The early correspondence was purchased.

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History

The history of the Howe Scale Company begins with Frank M. Strong of Vergennes and Thomas Ross designing and patenting a ball bearing scale for the Sampson Scale Company of Vergennes. Prior to this invention, the sharp pivot on which the platform of the scale rests would become worn down with repeated use, thus causing the scale to lose accuracy over time. The ball-bearing design provided a shock absorber for the pivot to reduce stress on the scale and improve its accuracy. This was the first major scale improvement in America and the first major innovation by Strong and Ross, the second being the building in 1857 of a gigantic scale for weighing canal boats, a feat that experts said was impossible.

In Spring 1857 John Howe Jr. of Brandon took over Strong and Ross's patents and began to manufacture their designs under the name Howe Scale Company. The Howe Scale Company became world-renowned, earning several awards at fairs and exhibitions, including the the gold, silver, and bronze medals at the 1867 Paris Exhibition against competitors from all over the world.

In 1873 the plant was moved to Rutland, with John A. Mead of Rutland becoming president in 1886, followed by Carl B. Hinsman and Frank G. Riehl. The Howe Scale Company went on to manufacture the weightograph, a device which produces weight readings on a ground glass screen that can be read in the dark from some distance away. It also produced the longest railroad track scale in the world, scales for weighing airplane propellors, and lightweight, aluminum scales that were easily transportable on airplanes. It also began producing trucks and tailers for cargo, and this became an important part of the company's product line. The Howe Scale Company continued to be a leader in the manufactuer of high-accuracy weighing instruments into the twentieth century.

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Scope and Content

The Howe Scale Company Papers include correspondence, minutes of meetings, newspaper clippings, photographs, advertising material, pamphlets, catalogs, broadsides and other printed material, price and parts lists, operations and sales manuals, and other materials for the years 1856-1961. The collection has been arranged chronologically with the bound volumes placed after the papers.

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Related Materials

Separated Materials

General Stacks:

  • Scale Journal, Oct. 1914 - Dec. 1928

Wilbur Stacks:

  • Howe Scale Co. Catalogs, 36 items, 1870-1960
  • The Howe Weighing Machines (a general catalog), 1883
  • Proving Satisfaction With Our Scales. Printed letters of satisfaction from customers, 1915-1924

Oversize MSS Drawer #5:

  • Certificate awarded to E. L. Pope for Howe General Purpose and Stock Scales Exhibit at the Ohio State Fair, Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 1878

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