The purpose of a hydrometer is to determine the specific gravity of a liquid. From this it is often possible to determine the composition or strength of the liquid. The Sikes hydrometer was, for very many years, the standard means of determining the alcohol content of spirits and hence the duty payable. I have added gauging rules as they were also associated with determining the duty payable on wines and spirits.
Two ounce class B beam scale by C Stevens & Son, Scale Makers, 58 Boswell Road, London EC1. It can be dismantled and placed in the box drawer. It has a selection of apothecary’s weights and there are two glass and one brass pans.
A GPO letter scale made by De Grave & Co, London and refurbished (twice) by the Wiltshire Scales Co. Metric with 100g, 50g, 20g and two 10g weights (there should be one 10g and two 20g). Last refurbished in 1999 it was then intended for weighing airmail letters. The scales may originally have been for imperial measurements and had imperial weights. The weights present all have different dates and two are stamped Turier (maker?)
A set of metric weights dating from the mid 20th century and supplied by the firm whose transfer is on the lid. The brass weights run from 1g to 100g and the others from 10mg to 500mg.
Cheap folding scale, probably for an apothecary. The beam is about 6 inches long and steel with swan-neck ends. The column, pans and other metal parts are brass. The base and drawer are crudely made from oak (visible parts) and pine (drawer sides, back and bottom, and box bottom). Ca.1900.
A set of apothecary weights by P Rogers & Co. These are three two drachm/dram weights, a one dram weights, three half dram weights, a two scruple weight, and two one scruple weights. Note that drachm is mis-spelt dram on all but the first example of the drachm weights. The obverse of each has the weight in word and symbol format and the reverse has Standard P Rogers & Co on it.
A set of six spile rods and a proof slide rule in a fitted leather case. The rods and slide rule are signed ‘Buss maker 33 Hatton Garden London’. The spile rods screw together to form a five foot dipping rod with inch and imperial gallon scales, that could be inserted through the spile hole in a bung. Thomas Odempsey Buss and his successors were at 33 Hatton Garden from 1865-1911.
Self erecting coin scale by Stephen Houghton & Son, Makers, Ormskirk, Successors to A Wilkinson The left end of the beam has a turn over weight that is divided into two sections longitudinally. The right end has a sliding poise. The various combinations of positioning these allow the weights of guineas, half guineas and third guineas (seven shillings), sovereigns and half sovereigns to be checked. Ca. 1820. The paper in the left part of the box gives the instructions and that on the right part (lid) says they are accurate and gives the weights of each of these coins.