Worth its Weight in Dimes
Each week, over 1,000 people step on the platform of a 108-year-old black porcelain scale shaped like a 6-foot antique clock, drop in a dime, and weigh themselves. The iconic public scale itself weighs almost 300 pounds, and has been featured in movies and photo shoots. It is a cherished possession of Allen Wattenberg, owner of Ross Cutlery shop in downtown Los Angeles, who paid $1,100 for it in a Florida antique store. Wattenberg estimates that over the years he’s made a profit of about $150,000 — one dime at a time.
This humorous Los Angeles Times audio slideshow presents a microcosm of L.A. street life by capturing an assortment of scale users from a variety of interesting camera angles. In addition to luring in curious passers-by, the scale has regular users, some who have been hopping on to check their weight for years. To them it is a reliable symbol of a time gone by.
CHANNEL: Los Angeles Times
Photography and audio by Mel Melcon