It looks like a tiny catapult

…but it’s not. Back before movies had sound, this little scale was used to weigh mercury and alloy for use in metal fillings. Prior to that, the dentist just took an educated guess. What a way to pack a filling!

Standardizing the Amalgam Filling

Quick Dental History

This is the CRANDALL Clev-Dent ALLOY BALANCE Dental Scale, patented in 1916. The balance has a cup for holding the alloy and a metal weighted end with measurements. Made in Cleveland, Ohio, the one pictured at the start of the article now resides in Benco Dental’s museum at the nationwide dental distribution company’s headquarters in Pittston, Pennsylvania. Below is an advertisement for the item from an antique dental catalog found on Google Books.