Useful and practical, antique kitchen scales are making a comeback!
Antique kitchen scales are such a practical item to have in your kitchen but they also make beautiful pieces of decor. I hope you will find some inspiration for antique kitchen scales here!
Used decades ago by generations past, your great grandmother may have used a food scale to measure out the ingredients for her famous jam recipe. The clerk at the country store utilized a kitchen scale for a customer needing one pound of coffee.
However they need to be used, antique kitchen scales are a popular item in kitchens today. They can be used for decoration or for actual use.
Vintage Kitchen Scales
The first kitchen scales used in homes were just like ones used in bakeries and commercial kitchens, just in a smaller version.
They were used by home cooks to measure food as well as ingredients for recipes. The earliest home kitchen scales date back to the wealthy Victorian homes and were made out of cast iron. They were typically black with some shiny accents like a brass balance and were quite heavy. It needed to be accurate while still having a homey feel that could fit into an everyday kitchen.
At the beginning of the 1900’s, the use of scales started to move beyond the homes of the wealthy. By the end of the war most home kitchens were equipped with a scale. They had become so popular that scale manufacturers started to produce colored scales to match some of the popular home decor colors of the time, including pastel yellow, green, and cream.
Types of Kitchen Scales
Any type of food can be measured using a kitchen scale whether it is meat, fruit, vegetables, baking ingredients, or spices!
The type of scale used is dependent on the accuracy of the desired weight. Some scales are able to measure a small amount of an ingredient while other scales are better used for an estimated amount. There are two types of scales that are were used and are still available today.
- Balance Scales
These scales are made up of two platforms. One side is either a bowl shape or flat for the ingredient being weighed and the other side is flat for placing the actual weights. Weights are added to the flat platform until the pointer on the front of the scale is at the mid-way point. On smaller scales, weights would be able to measure in one-fourth ounce increments going up to one pound. The larger scales would include five or six weights as follows: 2 ounce, 4 ounce, 8 ounce, 1 pound, 2 pounds, and 4 pounds.
- Mechanical Scales
This type of scale consists of one platform on top of the scale to hold the item being weighed. It is either flat or bowl shaped or has a removable bowl. The weight of the kitchen ingredient presses down on a spring inside the scale and moves the dial on the front to show the weight. These scales can measure up to 25 pounds and are typically made out of a lighter weight metal such as tin. The bases are made out of cast iron.
Value of Kitchen Scales
Scales from the early part of the 1900’s as well as the Victorian era are pretty hard to find. They can fetch a hefty price if the scale is in excellent condition and has all the original parts. Later scales, such as those from the 1930’s, have a much lower value because of their availability. Basically, the pricing runs as low as $20 to well over $200 depending on the specifications listed above.
Inspiration for Antique Kitchen Scales
Kitchen scales make very pretty decor pieces even if they are rusty and dented. That’s what gives them character! When you find one that speaks to you, you give it new life!
Here are a few ways you can use kitchen scales in your home:
- as a centerpiece on a table that holds a small vase with faux or fresh flowers
- they look really pretty as a collection on a long wall shelf
- scales that include a bowl on top make great fruit holders for lemons, oranges, limes, or bananas!
- as a place to hold fresh herbs like Basil or Thyme
- they make unique bookends!
Antique kitchen scales add so much vintage charm to a home. Because they can be found in various colors, you are able to incorporate them with the decor that you already have. If you find a scale that you love but aren’t quite sure how you would use it, try out some of the ideas above or get creative and use it in a unique way that is all your own!
I hope you found encouragement here today and some inspiration for antique kitchen scales. Let me know in the comments how you would decorate with them!
Find more inspiration for your home here!