Mortuary crane scales by Salter, Ca.1950. Typical model of mid-1950s. It was probably acquired second hand from a maternity ward as was common practice. These models are still made today (2017).
Post-mortem scales are used by pathologists during autopsy, the last opportunity to ‘question the dead’ and establish the cause of a death. During a post-mortem, an organ is examined within the body before being removed, weighed and inspected in further detail. An unexpected weight might indicate disease or an abnormality, providing further evidence to explain a body’s cause of death.