Pocket Scale

Pocket scale open
Pocket scale open

My great grandfather, was born in 1860 in Castlefranco in Miscano, Benevento, Italy.  His father was married three times, and he was the youngest of 19 siblings.  He came to the United States in 1882 and opened a jewelry and watch store in Little Italy, located on Mulberry Street. Through correspondence with a relative in Italy, we have learned that my great grandfather went to gold working school in Napoli, as he “was passionate about clocks and gold working.” My mother has a small wooden case that contains a jeweler’s scale that belonged to my great grandfather.  It is a beautiful and delicate little tool that he would have used when he was out buying precious metals for the jewelry he made.  The case is a well-made little wooden box. Even today, over 100 years later, it opens and closes flawlessly. It is worn in one spot on the bottom, perhaps from rubbing up against the inside of his pocket.   The inside is carved out to fit the little tool, which looks like a miniature scale of justice. There are small metal pieces inside a form-fitted tray, with numbers on each piece – each number representing a specific weight.     This tool and photograph of the shop are all that remain of this era as by around 1905 my great grandfather and his family had moved to Rockland County, NY, and then to Hoboken, NJ before settling in Brooklyn, NY where he lived until his death in 1941. 

Place(s): Brooklyn,New York,New Jersey,Italy
Year: 1882

– Joseph Gurbo

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more