I have been following the trail of my grandfather’s comments in his 1914 journal. One train began with his list of goods available in Puntarenas, Costa Rica: “Fairbanks scales from Vermont.”
Imports from Vermont? At this little Pacific port in Central America in 1914? They certainly would have stood out in a marketplace next to any of the other things he lists: “ornate tortoiseshell jewelry of domestic manufacture, tropical fruits of unpronounceable names and indescribable taste, and most ubiquitous and apparently indispensable drinks of all imaginable colors and in all kinds of containers from the pretentious salon with tiled floor to the fat colored woman seated on the sand on a stone under the shade of an orange tree! Most interesting to me were the native boats…” And scales imported from the Atlantic seaboard diagonally across the U.S.!
I ask Skus if he’s heard of Fairbanks scales. Certainly. They make truck scales now, and he’s not sure what else. I haven’t been observing brand names on scales, and industrial equipment is a man’s interest, not mine.
Fairbanks Scales‘ web site informs me they will celebrate 200 years in 2030, so that was a venerable company in 1914. The electronic scales they make now would astound Grandpa.
I’ll start observing brand names on scales at the doctor’s office, in the produce department at the grocery store, in the post office which gave the company when it unexpectedly ordered 3000 postal scales and the company filled the order in 8 days. No wonder they were made the official post office scales in 1874! I haven’t yet asked if they still are.
Fairbanks doesn’t just make truck scales. They make every train scales, animal scales, parcel scales, health scales, weigh-in-motion scales…but I didn’t find any current postage scales!
Fairbanks Scales will have produced for 200 years in 2030, and with that long a history they are likely to be here to celebrate.