Itinerari Tematici

The Scale Trail around Europe and the World

  1. Paris. A visit not be missed is to the Musée National des Techniques where, in the area dedicated to scientific instruments, 12 display cases exhibit weights and measures, among which is the famous Pile de Charlemagne, the Lavoisier scales and the prototype metres of 1799.
  2. Paris. At La Villette in the great citadel dedicated to science, Cité des Sciences et Industrie, some experiments use the scale.
  3. Rouen. Not to be missed is a visit to the Musée Le Secq des Tournelles which, in the church of Saint-Laurent, displays over 6,000 pieces which are part of one of the greatest collections of wrought iron in the world: a large section is dedicated to scales.
  4. La Talaudiere. The Maison du Patrimoine et de la Mesure has 3,500 finds which recount three centuries of the history of measurement from the Ancient Regime to the introduction of the metric system.
  5. Roberval, Picardy. If you are on the autoroute A1 which joins Paris to Lille, in the Senlis area, make a detour for the small town of Roberval, the birthplace of Gilles Personne de Roberval (physicist and mathematician, discoverer in 1669 of a principle of static which more than a century later, permitted the invention of a scale which took his name); in his honour, in 2005, the largest working Roberval scale in the world was constructed (6 m x 2.20 high)


  1. Balingen. In the city where the famous manufacturer of scales, Bizerba, was founded, there is the Museum für Waage und Gewicht.
  2. Kleinsassen Rhön. A wonderful museum of scales and weights is the Pfundsmuseum.
  3. Oschatz. There is a museum of scales, the Waagenmuseum.
  4. Wachenheim. There is a private museum, the Waagenmuseum which has a collection of about 500 scales and over 1,000 weights.


  1. Birmingham. The historic Avery company has its own company museum, the Avery Historical Museum, unmissable if one wishes to learn the characteristics of English scales up close.
  2. London At the Science Museum numerous weights and scales are exhibited.


  1. Oudewater. The Museum de Heksenwaag houses the scales used for witches, a large sized equal-arm beam scale from 1482, on which women accused of witchcraft were placed so that they could be weighed. Even today, visitors may be weighed and discover if they are light enough to fly on a broomstick: a certificate is given.
  2. Naarden. In the spring of 2012, in Spanish House, a new scales, weights and measures museum opened, which exhibited the collection of Mr. Renè Pas, gathered together over 30 years of research. The museum displays the history of the scales through the centuries


  1. Caparica. The Portuguese Institute of Quality has an internal metrological department, which contains the Museu de Metrologia.


  1. Istanbul. The Pera Museum has a section dedicated to weights and measures which is the largest collection of its kind in Turkey. It conserves about a thousand examples of scales, weights and measures from the prehistoric period to the modern day (a wide selection is dedicated to scales from the Mesopotamian, Hellenic and Roman Ages).


  1. Sidney. The Powerhouse Museum, along with collections dedicated to archaeology, photography, clocks, ceramics and glass, toys and design also contains a collection of scales, weights and measures. The catalogue, with its beautiful photos, is consultable online.



Photo: Pile de Charlemagne, Musée National des Techinques, Paris