JF Ptak Science Books Daily Dose from Dr. Odd
Grazing the issues for 1920 in the Popular Mechanics-esque popular-techno-magazine, Illustrated World, I found this superb near-Dadaist photograph. The image is for a free weighing station, where people could come and have their stuff weighed, and weighed for free. This no doubt came into being to help protect consumers from being under-weighted and over-charged for their weighed goods like butter and whatever, where their good grocer might have had a thumb or more on the scale or even used a crooked/salted scale when selling their goods. What someone would do at the point of being told that their stuff was overweighed, I don't know–I mean these are people walking around in the street with things in their pockets or bags….its not exactly "evidence" showing up at the weigh station (staffed by "a woman") saying that the half-pound blob roll in their hand was sold them as a pound on their word of the purchaser probably wouldn't stand up in court. In any event, I like the idea of the story of the world being told from the viewpoint of the person weighing stuff for free, and the people who came to them, and the stuff brought to be weighed. Maybe there were weighing-in groupies; maybe there were old people who would just kick up a rock or something and take it to the weigh station for a bit of conversation and complaint on the over-weighted state of geology. Maybe between 12:00 and 1:00 the weighers weighed stuff out-back, sotto voce, for fun.
If only there was a sign for "no waiting" this photo would be complete.