In the spirit of the (Baby) New Year, today’s mystery artifact has to do with newborns and marking their official entrance into the world. While most of our guessers knew right off that this object is a scale, only one clever person recognized it as being used to weigh babies (presumably from a sling).
These scales were used by Dr. Kenneth Dore in his family practice in Fryeburg, Maine. He practiced there from 1938 to 1974.
From the cataloging record: “The largest baby Dr. Dore delivered weighed 11 lbs. and 7 oz. The smallest baby he delivered weighed 1 lb. 3oz. He put her in a shoebox and placed her near the wood stove to keep her warm. She was fed whiskey with an eyedropper to stimulate her system.”
As of 2006, both “babies” were still alive and residing in Fryeburg.