A reader sent in the following photograph in an effort to help identify unique and obscure locations within the Academic Health Center.
The scale is an 850 kg capacity flat scale (also known as a platform scale) located in the A (north) wing on the fourth floor of the Mayo Memorial Building. It was manufactured by the Toledo Scale Company with its motto, "No Springs, Honest Weight," printed on the back of the lollipop scale. The scale's design used a pendulum weight rather than a spring for measurement. The model number indicates it might have been manufactured in 1921, thirty-three years before the dedication of the Mayo Building.
At the time of the Mayo's opening, the fourth floor was designated as the Department of Surgery including space for operating rooms, recovery rooms, and patient rooms. This type of flat scale is used to record weights of patients (minus the bed or wheelchair) in intensive care or surgical recovery. The scale's platform was built into the floor and offered a seamless surface in order to role a wheelchair or gurney onto the scale.
The scale is no longer operational. The platform is fixed in place. A few unanswered questions remain: Why was a possibly thirty year old scale installed in a new facility and was the scale in use in the University Hospitals prior to its placement in Mayo? Did the scale serve some other purpose over the years before being disabled?
If you witnessed the use of the scale or used the scale yourself your input would be appreciated in the comments below.
After all, history is a matter of weighing perceived facts counter balanced by interpretation and local knowledge.