National Geographic : 1961 Jun
Ax Exposes a Gold Bar; Sawdust Packing Flies As a powerful financial center, the City of London looks for leadership to that rich, conservative dowa ger, the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, the Bank of England. Found ed in 1694, the Old Lady is Brit ain's national bank. A workman in the bullion receiv ing room splits a wooden box con taining a gold bar worth $14,000. The author watched him open many cases with unerring strokes. None of the bars received a scratch. Counterbalance scale, 77 years old and accurate to the 40th part of an ounce, weighs a gold bar. A. C. G. Mason adds metal weights to the scale, which employees affectionate ly call the Lord High Chancellor. For finer measurements he would use another old scale, accurate to the 1,000th part of an ounce. Gold worth millions is stacked in the background. Bars vary in weight from 25 to 30 pounds.