Symbolic Representation

History of Scales


History of Scales

The history of balance scales begins in ancient Egypt, possibly as far back as 5000 BCE. The Egyptians used balance scales to compare the weights of goods. They placed goods on each side of the scale; when the scale became balanced, they knew that the weights of the goods were equal.

  • What type of scales have you used, or seen someone else use, to measure things?
  • How are the scales you've used similar to, or different from, the balance scale?


  • Think about places you visit, like the grocery store or the doctor's office. Have you seen scales there?
  • Scales are used to measure weight. What are some of the things we weigh?