Portable Hanging Scale

Another artifact from the collection of Rex Means (1934-2014) that can be seen at the CalCo Museum is a portable hanging scale courtesy of Ms. Betty Means. It is 1 ¼” by 4 ⅜” with a hanging ring and a hook. A brass plate will indicate the weight on a scale from zero to twenty-four pounds. There were several manufacturers of this same spring scale design of the same time-period. This one was made by Peck, Stow & Wilcox Co (1870-1950) a company formed in 1870 in Southington Connecticut. They were known for wellmade tools and held several patents, one for a ratcheting brace & bit and one for an adjustable end wrench I call a “monkey wrench.” The attached photo has two of their brand logos. This scale circa 1910 could be suspended by the ring or held by hand. Would make a handy fish scale unless you were Benny Alexander of El Dorado who netted a 56-pound Bigmouth Buffalo at Calion Lake in April 2000. Or the person who caught a 70.31-pound Bigmouth Buffalo at Bussy Brake, LA (south of Crossett). It would work fine for me; I will never tie into a monster like that. I am curious how these scales were commonly used. They are not as accurate as a balance scale but are more portable and expedient. According to wise old Wikipedia they are not intended to determine the weight of an item for sale. Invented in 1770 by Richard Salter of England and patented in 1838 by him, they are still around.

Mandate? Really??

Last week’s announcement from Governor Hutchinson about Monday’s mask mandate seemed counter to previous positions on dealing with the current virus situation. It goes further than the Federal in mask requirements. There is, currently, no Federal mask mandate.



Dr. Benjamin Rush was a scientist, physician, reformer, and co-signer of the Declaration of Independence. His life would take him across the world and into the pages of history.

Afghanistan 2001

One of the advantages of being associated with the military for over 33 years is the ability to get free vacations in exotic parts of the world and bring back souvenirs. However, Afghanistan in 2001 proved to be less than exotic and void of collectibles. I did get to know some great Americans in the Special Operations Community, both Army Special Forces and Marine Special Ops. 



He was a pioneer in many ways, and his work helped change the face of medicine forever, but Dr. Samuel L. Kountz, Jr., never became a household name. In addition to becoming one of the first African-Americans to graduate from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Kountz became a pioneer in of the most important new medical fields of the late twentieth century, organ transplantation.


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