Strong National Museum of Play, Rochester, New York


“Having seen this significant collection, I’m struck with what a national treasure it is. As important historical artifacts, the scales provide insights into American popular culture. As interactive devices, they help contemporary Americans reflect on timely issues like health and obesity. Since penny scales provided both a public service and a form of entertainment, Strong National Museum of Play remains interested in the possibility of providing a home and interpretive platform for [the] collection and accompanying archive. We would be uniquely qualified to maximize the historical context and the modern impact of penny scales in ways that could benefit the widest possible audience.”  
Christopher Bensch, Vice President for Collections, September 2011

 

The Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.

Carl H. Scheele, former curator for the Division of Community Life, explained, “There is nothing like seeing a collection in person. Aside from the splendid condition of [the] examples, I was very impressed with the variety in terms of dates represented and the different types and manufacturers. The most intriguing to me, in terms of technology, was the one with the phonograph record. I had never seen such a sound recording before. The overall impression was spectacular.”


The Taft Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio

“The penny weighing scale is now a museum piece of considerable interest….A material cultural artifact and a symbol of the universal quest for a healthy, trim appearance, the penny scale is worth a pound of study…The acquisition of Christopher Steele’s collection of Vintage American Penny Scales was pursued with passion and knowledge.” Above excerpts from the Taft exhibition catalogue The American Weigh, with text written by Ruth K. Meyer, the former director of the Taft Museum. The museum showcased 26 scales from Steele’s collection in 1983–84. Steele extends a heartfelt thank you to the museum for the ongoing use of the title.


Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York

The late Arthur Drexler stated, “This is exactly what the museums need to be showing to attract people in larger numbers to their institutions.”