Plunket scales - weighing babies
1970s, Wellington Scale Company, New Zealand. Gift of the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society Inc, 2010. Te Papa
The weighing of babies typified Plunket's early work in supporting child development and welfare. Queen Elizabeth II even watched a baby 'weigh in' on her 1954 visit to New Zealand.
Other items that epitomised the organisation's work included the 'Plunket clock' and Plunket books.
The 'Plunket clock' showed the strict routine that Plunket advised mothers to follow until the 1960s. Specific times were given for feeding, bathing, playing, and sleeping. Later, Plunket adapted its message to cater for personal and cultural differences.
Plunket books were used to record the weight and overall health and development of all Plunket babies from 1922. Milestones like first foods, words, and footsteps were all dutifully documented. The books remain family treasures today.