Stewart-Warner Corp., est. 1905

Museum Artifact: Cadet Bicycle Speedometer and Stewart-Warner Television + Stand, 1950s

Made By: Stewart-Warner Corp., 1826 W. Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL

“The ‘Cadet’ Bike Speedometer is not a toy! It’s a precision instrument, just like the one on your Dad’s car! It’s made by famous Stewart-Warner, the same company that has made millions of speedometers for cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles.” —Stewart-Warner advertisement,

Airguide Instrument Co., est. 1930

Museum Artifact: Airguide “Highlander” Wall Barometer and No. 36 Field Glasses, c. 1948

Made by: Airguide Instrument Co. / Fee & Stemwedel, Inc, 2210 W. Wabansia Ave.

“Into every Airguide instrument go the finest of materials, the painstaking care of skillful workers, and the thorough inspection of an exacting laboratory. No instrument leaves the factory until it has proved its dependability under conditions more severe than those actually encountered throughout the year.

G. Felsenthal & Sons, est. 1898

Museum Artifact: Altitude Correction Computer, c. 1945

Made By: G. Felsenthal & Sons, 4100 W. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL

“No sign posts on the mountains . . . no concrete highways in the soup . . . no rocky peak so kind it steps aside to let a plane go by. Yet, with the navigational instruments precision made by Felsenthal, in Felsenthal Plastics,

American Family Scale Co., est. 1928

Museum Artifact: 25 LB Kitchen Scale, c. 1950s

Made by: American Family Scale Co., 515 S. Laflin St., Chicago, IL

A television metaphor might not be entirely apropos for the time period, but when the American Family Scale Company was established in 1928, it was essentially a “spin-off” of Chicago’s venerable American Cutlery Company. In fact, all the classic hallmarks of a TV spin-off were there:

1—The original,

Precision Scientific Co., est. 1917

Museum Artifact: Precision Time-It Electric Timer, c. 1940s

Made By: Precision Scientific Company, 3737 W. Cortland St. Chicago, IL

Research is underway on this one and a full write-up will be coming soon.

Sun Electric Corporation, est. 1931

Museum Artifact: Sun Volts-Ignition Tester + Sun 504 Distributor Tester Sign, c. 1960s

Made By: Sun Electric Corporation, 6323 N. Avondale Ave., Chicago, IL

Research is underway on this one and a full write-up will be coming soon.

Triner Scale & MFG Co., est. 1903

Museum Artifact: Triner Precision Postal Scale, 1910

Made By: Triner Scale & MFG Co., 2714 W. 21st St., Chicago, IL

It’s a rare treat that an artifact from the Made In Chicago Museum can actually introduce itself in its own words, but such is the case with our Triner “Precision” 4LB postal scale. When this design was first patented and sent to market in 1906,

F.B. Redington Co., est. 1897

Museum Artifacts: A pair of Redington Counting Machines, c. 1920s and 1930s

Made By: F.B. Redington Co., 112 S. Sangamon St., Chicago, IL

“Lazy Workmen Weeded Out,” read the tagline of a 1919 advertisement for the Redington Counting Machine—a device that’s still used in factories (in a digital format) nearly 100 years later.

“Find out the lazy workman operating your machines by checking your production.

VAL-A Company, est. 1932

Museum Artifact: VAL-A Egg Scale, c. 1930s

Made By: VAL-A Company, 700 W. Root St., Chicago, IL

Weighing a hundred eggs one-by-one on a galvanized metal doohickey might seem crazily inefficient, if not entirely unnecessary. But for any humble farmer / chicken coop owner of the early to mid 20th century, egg scales like this one were must-have tools of the trade. Today, they can pass for intriguing modern art pieces.

Hanson Scale Company, est. 1888

Museum Artifact: Hanson No. 24 U.S. Family Scale, c. 1900

Made By: Hanson Bros. Scale Company, 427 W. Randolph St. / 525 N. Ada Street, Chicago IL

“Judging from the large increase in orders reported by the Hanson Bros. Manufacturing Company, 18-30 Randolph street, dealers and jobbers are finding the U.S. family scale a very profitable, quick-selling article to handle. The Hanson Brothers manufacture a high grade family scale,

W. M. Welch Scientific Company, est. 1880

Museum Artifact: Bakelite Galvanometer, 1960s

Made By: W. M. Welch Scientific Co., 1515 N. Sedgwick St., Chicago, IL

Research is underway on this one and a full write-up will be coming soon.

Victor X-Ray Corporation, est. 1893

Museum Artifact: Victor Interval Timer, 1920s

Made By: Victor X-Ray Corporation, 2012 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL

As company names go, the word “Victor” is so ubiquitous—particularly in early 20th century circles—that it basically cancels out the concept of brand recognition. The most famous Victor of the era, the Victor Talking Machine Company of New Jersey (est. 1901), was at least smart enough to distinguish itself with an iconic logo—“His Master’s Voice”

American Automatic Devices Co., est. 1915

Museum Artifact: Ritz Stick Foot Measure, c. 1920s

Made by: American Automatic Devices Co. / King Bee MFG Co, 500-530 S. Throop St., Chicago, IL

When a stick of any kind becomes culturally relevant enough to have its own name, we tend to ascribe it a simple, self-descriptive one: match stick, hockey stick, joy stick. A rare exception is the Ritz Stick,

Hanson 500 Gram Dietetic Scale by Hanson Scale Co., 1930s

Hanson Scale Company, 525 N. Ada St., Chicago, IL

“This is the authoritative scale for individuals whose safety requires that they accurately weigh each portion of their food in grams. Any Hanson Diet Scale is easy to use, and so sturdily constructed that it may be carried from room to room and still retain strict accuracy.” —Hanson Scale Co. catalog, 1936

Sold throughout the ’20s and ’30s,

American Cutlery Co., est. 1865

Museum Artifact: Kitchen Scale, c. 1900s

Made by: American Cutlery Co., 732-764 Mather St. (W Lexington St.), Chicago, IL

If it seems like this turn-of-the-century kitchen scale reveals just a little bit more grace and attention-to-detail than the other dozen or so scales in our museum collection, consider it a lasting testament to the high standards of the American Cutlery Company.

As the name suggests,

Pelouze Scale & MFG Co., est. 1894

Museum Artifact: Pelouze “Star” Miniature Postal Scale., c. 1900

Made By: Pelouze Scale & MFG Co., 133 S. Clinton St. / 118 W. Jackson Blvd. / 232 E. Ohio St., Chicago, IL

Considering Chicago was the unofficial spring-scale capital of the world, the Pelouze Scale & Manufacturing Company had no shortage of competition in its industry. Even our own museum collection includes quality offerings from Pelouze contemporaries like the American Cutlery Co.

30 LB Kitchen Scale (Mint Green) by Pelouze MFG Co., c 1940s

Pelouze Scale & Manufacturing Co., 232 E. Ohio St., Chicago, IL

There’s no getting around it. Kitchen scales, aka “family scales,” take up a lot of the real estate in the Made-in-Chicago Museum. This mint green beaut is one of several scales in our collection made by the Pelouze Manufacturing Company, maybe the best known of the many Chicago based spring scale companies of the early 20th century.

Ideal No. 2 Postal Scale by Triner Scale & MFG Co., 1963

Triner Scale & MFG Co., 2714 W. 21st St., Chicago, IL

This curvaceous postal scale from the Triner Scale & MFG Co. has a copyright of 1963 on the dial, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the scale itself was built that year. By the mid-century, Triner was equipping its “Ideal” and “Superior” U.S. mail scales with replaceable plastic dials. That way, when the government decided to go nuts and increase postal rates,

Jas. P. Marsh Corp., est. 1880s

Museum Artifact: Marsh Pressure Gauge, c. 1940s

Made By: Jas. P. Marsh Corporation, 2073 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, IL

Research is underway on this one and a full write-up will be coming soon.

Pelouze Family Scale by Pelouze MFG Co., c. 1930s

Pelouze Manufacturing Company, 232 E. Ohio St., Chicago, IL

Here it is. The one that started it all.

This was the faded green Pelouze “Family Scale” that caught my eye at a junk shop in the first week of 2015. As explained on the About Us page, for whatever reason, this finding lit the proverbial fuse of discovery / obsessive compulsiveness within me, and eventually laid the imaginary foundation for my imaginary museum.