Museum Monday: Howe Grain Scale – #BLOG365 Day 82

Yesterday we took our time driving up to Tennessee through Alabama. We stopped in Selma and crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge then had lunch at the Wallace State Community College cafeteria (if you are from the south you will get cafeteria food…epic). We spent some time in Birmingham visiting my family at the cemetery too.

A little north of Birmingham we began to see signs for antique stores and antique malls. We tried to resist…really we did. But, the force was too strong.

We ended up pulling over to check out the 57,000 square foot Highway Pickers in Cullman, Alabama. My great-grandmother is from Cullman and I can’t tell you how many times I have been there, but I never knew about Highway Pickers, an antique paradise on three floors.

As soon as we stepped inside the building we were smitten with at least 10 objects on the first floor. Unfortunately, we started feeling the frustration of driving a 4 door rental car that wouldn’t fit any new goodies. So, we kept browsing, even discussing renting a U-Haul on the drive back so we could buy a few things.

On the second floor we found a booth that was full of antique scales. It looked like someone’s collection had been picked up and dropped into this antique booth. We fell in love with two different scales. A Howe pallet grain scale and a white porcelain Toledo mercantile scale.


Usually, when we come across things like this in a store, items we aren’t exactly sure on when it comes to value, we get on Ebay and compare prices. This time we were out in the middle of nowhere in a building that was blocking any chance of connectivity. Being unsure about the value of the scales we reluctantly left with a plan to research and call back with an offer price later.

We are hagglers when it comes to antique shopping. Tomorrow when the store opens again we will be on the phone making an offer on both of these scales, hoping that the grain/feed scale comes apart so we can pick it up on our way back to Florida.

I love these objects because they can be connected to lessons/discussions on science, agriculture, and economics.

Tomorrow we make the trek to Memphis and the antiquing could get ugly.

Such a sucker for old objects!



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