Humboldt State University ® Department of Chemistry

Robert A. Paselk Scientific Instrument Museum

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Analytical Balance, Speedigram

Model 750-D

Voland and Sons

No 30803

Humboldt College, 1957

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This two-pan analytical balance incorporates two features designed to facilitate rapid weighing: a multiweight carrier activated by dials, and a chainweight. Together they allow more rapid determination of weights by substituting a precision chain for small (<100 mg) weights and internal weights on a carrier for the traditional box of weights. Thus the operator no longer need open the case to add weights below 100 g, dialing them in instead. And, once the operator came to within 100 mg of the desired weight, he/she would no longer need to arrest the beam, open the balance case, add additional weights, close the case, release the beam and observe its swing, etc. greatly speeding the determination of exact weights.

The multiweight carrier was developed by Ainsworth in 1902,1 while chainweight principle was patented for analytical balances by Christian Becker in 1915.2 This balance was used by the Wildlife Department at HSU.

Early/contemporary descriptions of the features of this balance and its use are provided below:


This is Voland's top-of-the-line analytical balance. The aluminum case is black crinkle finished with chromium plated and aluminum trim. There are glass panels on the front, rear, and top. The plate is black glass setting on a sheet aluminum base.The case is 20 1/2"h x 17 "w x 10"d. The balance has stainless steel pans on chrome-plated, 3-piece, hangers. The column is polished chrome-plate, other interior parts are chrome-plate or polished stainless steel. The weights (Class S) are either aluminum or stainless steel, and may be added to give any combination from 0.1 - 99.1 gram. An additional 100 g weight in the case allows a total of 199.9 g to be added to the right pan/hanger. The chainweight allows addition of 0.0000 - 0.1000 by turning a dial which has a mechanical counter readout. A knob on the left side of the case enables zeroing of the balance via a second adjustment of the chain. A blue eneameled aluminum tag with raised metal letters and fields is rited to the right side: VOLAND & SONS INC. / NEW ROCHELLE, N. Y. / MODEL NO. 750-D / SERIAL NO. M 17844. There is a yellow decal on the front: STATE OF CALIFORNIA / HUMBOLDT COLLEGE / 15201. According to HSU inventory this balance was purchased in March of 1957.


A balance nearly identical to this one is shown in the 1950 Aldolf Frese catalog (pg 39, item 2-602 ) and the 1958 Fisher Catalog 59 (pg 43, item 1-938), except that both are described as having the case finished in light gray hammertone instead of black crinkle enamel. Voland and Sons was established in New Rochelle, N. Y. in 1888.1


1MacNevin, William Marshall, The Analytical Balance, Its Care and Use. Handbook Publishers, Inc., Sandusky, Ohio, (1951), pg. x-xii.
2Stock, John T. Development of the Chemical Balance. Her Majesty's Stationary Office, London (1969), pg 30. "The 'chainomatic' principle, used earlier in other connections, but patented by Christian A. Becker (1874­1946) in 1915,..."

The Chemical Balance at Humboldt

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HSTC (1921-34)
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HSC (1954-1973)
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HSC (1935-1953)

HSC 1956-72 Instrument Collection

© R. Paselk
Last modified 11 August 2010