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Balance, London, England, 1860-1880

Accurately measuring out ingredients for medical treatments is vital to ensure the patient takes the correct dosage. If incorrect the dosages can be lethal. Enclosed by a wooden glass and ivory case, this brass and steel balance was designed by Ludwig Oertling. He had settled in London from Germany in the early 1840s and his firm became the leading manufacturer of balances in Britain. Oertling’s balances were also used in scientific research and chemical analysis.

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Glossary: beamscale

Scales with a horizontal bar pivoting about a central fulcrum, creating equal-length arms; suspended from the ends of the arms are pans or baskets, in one of which is placed the item being weighed and in the other, a premeasured weight.

Glossary: pharmacy

The preparation and medicinal dispensing of drugs.