American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A balance consisting of a scaled arm suspended off center, a hook at the shorter end on which to hang the object being weighed, and a counterbalance at the longer end that can be moved to find the weight.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A place in London, comprising great warehouses called before the reign of Edward IV. Gildhalla Teutonicorum, ‘Gildhall of the Germans,’ where, until expelled in 1597, the merchants of the Hanseatic League had their English headquarters; also, the company of merchants themselves. The merchants of the Steelyard were bound by almost monastic gild-rules, under a separate jurisdiction from the rest of London, were exempt from many exactions and restrictions, and for centuries controlled most of the foreign trade of England.
- n. A kind of balance with two unequal arms, consisting of a lever in the form of slender iron bar with one arm very short, the other divided by equidistant notches, having a small crosspiece as fulcrum, to which a bearing for suspension is attached, usually a hook at the short end, and a weight moving upon the long arm. It is very portable, without liability to become separated, and the process of weighing is very expeditious. It is much used for cheap commodities, but owing to its simple construction it is liable to be so made as to give false indications. Often used in the plural. Also called
Roman balanceor beam. Compare Danish balance(sometimes called Banish steelyard), under balance.
- n. A transportable balance with unequal arm lengths.
- n. A place where steel (and possibly other metals as well) is stored and sold.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A form of balance in which the body to be weighed is suspended from the shorter arm of a lever, which turns on a fulcrum, and a counterpoise is caused to slide upon the longer arm to produce equilibrium, its place upon this arm (which is notched or graduated) indicating the weight; a Roman balance; -- very commonly used also in the plural form,
- n. a portable balance consisting of a pivoted bar with arms of unequal length
- steel + yard (“enclosed area" or "rod”) (Wiktionary)
- steel + yard1, rod. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“To tell the truth, it was a delicate job, for the steelyard was a clumsy instrument, though, like the sceptical guard's language, the best we had.”
“Hitherto the weighing machines in common use have either been designed with some kind of steelyard apparatus, upon which weights could be moved to different distances from a fixed fulcrum, or springs have been so applied as to be compressed to different degrees by different weights put upon the scale pan, or table, of the machine.”
“Five days a week he works in steelyard to support an extended family of five: his brother, his girlfriend, his girlfriend's daughter and his girlfriend's daughter's infant son.”
“The weights were very ingeniously made; the steelyard system was adopted.”
“But his trusses of hay were always six pounds short, and if ever anybody brought a sample truss to steelyard, he had got a little dog, just seven pounds weight, who slipped into the core of it, being just a good hay-color.”
“With the help of the girls he used to fasten a fat little thing, about twelve months old, in the bend at the middle of the handle, and there (like a ham on the steelyard) hung this baby and enjoyed seesaw, and laughed at its own utility.”
“Then raising the steelyard, “Which is the one tael mark?” she asked.”
“She Yüeh, upon hearing this, dropped the steelyard, and selected”
““But why FOUR pounds?” she objected as she weighed the sugar on a steelyard.”
“It is needless to say that a scale would not show this loss; for the weight destined to weight the object would have lost exactly as much as the object itself; but a spring steelyard for example, the tension of which was independent of the attraction, would have given a just estimate of this loss.”
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