Object: Scales, Plunket
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Wellington Scale Company (manufacturer(s)), 1970s, New Zealand
|Materials||metal, paint, enamel paint|
x 620mm (Width)
x 1195mm (Height)
|Credit line||Gift of the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society Inc, 2010|
This is a set of scales used for weighing babies. They are made of metal painted a cream colour. They consist of a sprung base, a large basin to put the baby in, a vertical support pole, a horizontal measuring scale that stops at3 kilograms, and a set of four metal weights to hang from the end of the scale. On the vertical pole are four stickers of Disney cartoon characters, and there are four more inside the basin. At the top of the pole is a black plate with 'Wellington Scale Co. 68 Dixon Street Wellington, NZ' written on it.
This set of baby-weighing scales is part of a collection formerly owned by the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society. They came from the Johnsonville Plunket Rooms. Babies were brought to Plunket rooms to be weighed, and the measurements were recorded in the baby's personal Plunket book. In the earlier days of the Society, Plunket nurses would cycle to the mother's home and weigh the baby with portable scales.
The Royal New Zealand Plunket Society
Sir Frederick Truby King founded the Royal New Zealand Society for the Health of Women and Children in 1907 in an effort to improve childcare standards, and it is still active today. It is, however, more commonly known as Plunket, after Lady Victoria Plunket, wife of the Governor of New Zealand at the time of the Society's establishment and a great supporter of King's work. In 1980, the Society officially changed its name to the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society.
In the late 1980s, Te Papa received a collection of objects and ephemera from the Plunket Society, including promotional leaflets, a 'Well Child' baby book, and a set of scales for weighing infants. These items date from different periods in the history of Plunket, from its inception in 1907 to the time of this acquisition.
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