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An instance so such heavy handed treatment was the case of the steelyard. In the process of metrification  of weights and measures, regulations had been gazetted which banned all imperial system scales from shops. One of the butchers in Manly opened a new shop, which he had gone to some trouble to decorate. On one wall he hung a steelyard--an ancient device for weighing meat and produce which had been used since Roman times. It consisted of a portable beam balance with unequal arms supported by a chain. Although accurate, the steelyard was clumsy to use and the graduation on the beam was very hard to read. It had been superseded long ago by dial-type weighing scales.

Like many antiques, the purpose of the butcher's steelyard was purely decorative, but it did have graduations on its arms which were marked in pounds and ounces, and "yard" sounded imperial. (actually  it is a mistaken translation of the German "stahlhof".)

Soon after he opened the shop, the butcher was visited by a diligent inspector from the weights and measures section of the Department of Consumer Affairs. This official spotted the illegal weighing device on the wall and promptly confiscated it. I was telephoned by the irate butcher, who had a  very poor view of this strict enforcement of the law.

Donna rang a friend in Sid Einfeld's office. The next day, I had the pleasure of taking delivery of the steelyard from an embarrassed senior bureaucrat and

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