Search our collections

Advanced Search

Object: Scales, Plunket

This image has Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons BY-NC-ND Creative Commons BY-NC-ND copyright licence

Title Scales, Plunket
Production Wellington Scale Company (manufacturer(s)), 1970s, New Zealand
Materials metal, paint, enamel paint
Classification scales
Technique casting
Dimensions Overall: 565mm (Length) x 620mm (Width) x 1195mm (Height)
Credit line Gift of the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society Inc, 2010
Registration number GH012893

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.

Related information

Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.