Weighing and measuring machine by John Joseph Merlin, London, 1760-1803
John Joseph Merlin (1735-1803) was a Dutch inventor. He learned his trade as a mathematical instrument maker in Paris. Merlin moved to England in 1760. He founded his mathematical instrument-making business in 1773. Merlin invented this weighing machine. He also set up “Merlin’s Mechanical Museum”. This featured instruments such as weighing machines, clocks and even a device allowing blind people to play cards. His museum was popular in London as a place of amusement and instruction. Merlin, something of an entrepreneur, is also believed to have popularised roller skates.
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Glossary: weighing machine
A machine (sometimes referred to as a scale) for weighing persons, objects or large weights.
Measurement is the process of estimating the magnitude of some attribute of an object, such as its length or weight, relative to some standard (unit of measurement), such as a meter or a kilogram. The act of measuring usually involves using a measuring instrument, such as a ruler, weighing scale, thermometer or speedometer which is calibrated to compare the measured attribute to a measurement unit. Metrology is the scientific study of measurement.
Glossary: personal weigher
weighing machine or device specifically for determing the weight of an individual person, usually but not always in a domestic environment. Characterised by weighing platform or chair, based on the steelyard lever principle (Distinct from bathroom scales)