Historical information

This handheld portable pendulum quadrant scale was used to weigh small paper items such as letters and documents, powdered chemicals or metals like gold, and animal fleece samples. This mechanical scale can weigh up to a maximum of 10 ounces, which is about 285 grams or one-and-a-half cups of brown sugar.

The operator holds the scale’s ring and connects the item to be weighed onto the wire clip. The weight of the item causes the pendulum to pivot, and the scale measures the weight of the object, indicated by the arrow.

This scale belonged to Dr William Roy Angus and is now part of Flagstaff Hill’s comprehensive W.R. Angus Collection, donated by the family of Dr W R Angus, 1901-1970, surgeon and oculist.

The W.R. Angus Collection: -

The W.R. Angus Collection includes historical medical equipment, surgical instruments and material belonging to Dr Edward Ryan and Dr Thomas Francis Ryan, (both of Nhill, Victoria) and Dr Angus’ own belongings. The Collection’s history spans the medical practices of the two Doctors Ryan, from 1885-1926 plus that of Dr Angus, up until 1969. It includes historical medical and surgical equipment and instruments from the doctors Edward and Thomas Ryan of Nhill, Victoria.

Dr Angus married Gladys in 1927 at Ballarat, the nearest big city to Nhill where he began as a Medical Assistant. He was also Acting House surgeon at the Nhill hospital where their two daughters were born. During World War II He served as a Military Doctor in the Australian Defence Force.

Dr Angus and his family moved to Warrnambool in 1939, where Dr Angus operated his own medical practice. He later added the part-time Port Medical Officer responsibility and was the last person appointed to that position. Both Dr Angus and his wife were very involved in the local community, including the planning stages of the new Flagstaff Hill and the layout of the gardens there. Dr Angus passed away in March 1970.


This letter scale is the only one of its type in our collection. It is an example of objects belonging to Dr. W. R. Angus, 1901-1970, surgeon and oculist.
The W.R. Angus Collection is significant for still being located at the site it is connected with, Doctor Angus being the last Port Medical Officer in Warrnambool. The Collection includes historical medical objects that date back to the late 1800s.

Physical description

Letter scale, a handheld quadrant fixed pendulum scale made from silver-plated metal. This small weighing instrument is shaped like a quarter-circle with a metal ring, a fixed pendulum counterweight and a decorative pivoting arrow indicator. A hanger clip is attached to a short arm of the scale. Measurements are embossed on the arc of the circle, labelled in ounces (oz) and ranging from 0 to 10 at unequal distances apart. The scale is part of the W.R. Angus Collection.

Inscriptions & markings

Scale measurements, "OZ" (ounces), "0 /14 1/2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "