Makins Oertling

1854 - 1860

Makins Oertling

George Hogarth Makins (1815-1892) qualified as a surgeon in 1840.Following this he took up the study of chemistry with a particular interest in metallurgy and the preparation of gold for dental work. He learnt his assaying skills as the result of his association with Henry Field who was the resident assayer at the Royal Mint.

He set up his own assayers laboratory, as an assayer he enjoyed an unrivalled reputation to the extent that he often acted as a referee between the Bank of England and the Royal Mint. Due to his knowledge and accuracy of his work he was appointed as assayer to the Bank of England, during this time he found the need for a good assay balance, as he was dissatisfied with the instruments at the time.

In the journal of The Chemical Society in 1854 he described the characteristics for the ideal assay balance. He commissioned Ludwig Oertling to design and produce a prototype for the "Improved Assay Balance, it was so successful that it became the prototype for every assay balance sold by Oertling for the next century.

The original balance had a capacity of 2g in each pan and a readability of 1/1000 of a grain (0.00006g). This balance became the Oertling model 12, which was manufactured up to WW1.