Just Meters

Some are panel mounting, others may have been mounted on a wall

I found an early document on meters, click on the meter....

WW1 Voltmeter

 The meter fitted to the piece of wood with the porcelain fuses comes from a museum at Albert in the Somme area. The museum sells memorabilia and WW1 artefacts. It cost me 50 francs which I reckon is about £5 and a third the price of the hand grenades also on sale. This meter was almost certainly used to monitor the battery supplies to a trench telephone system and this example, which looks old, I was informed, is French.
The thing is about 5 inches in diameter and the works inside the case, apart from the odd cobweb, look like new....

I saw a British example at another museum over there and it looked not too different to those used in WW2. PS. I had another look this year and the original WWI meter has been replaced with one carrying the date (in tiny letters) 1941).

Another WW1 curiosity is this RAF Test Meter

This meter measures a little over 2 inches across and attracted no interest to buyers, being described as WWII. If it had been correctly identified as WWI, I might have had to pay ten times the sum it went for.

It probably dates to 1917 or 1918, as before then it would have been inscribed "RFC" rather than "RAF".

The case is heavily nickel-plated brass and it reads 0-0.5Amp.

It once lived at the W/T Stores Depot, RAF Kidbrooke in Kent and it has No.4494 marked on the dial.

From the scale marking it could be a hot-wire type of meter and as such could have been used for tuning an early spark transmitter (click to see

Megger Voltmeter

 This 6 inch diameter meter was made by Evershed and Vignoles and proclaims itself a "Megger". Nowadays "Meggers" are understood to be Insulation Testers, an example of which is shown on another page. I got this example at a car boot sale at Holmesley and looks to me like it dates to the late 20s. Like many things from car boot sales it was said to work but didn't!

Megger was registered as a trademark in 1903. Evershed and Vignoles were founded in 1895 but can be traced back to the late 1880s.

 Ammeter from 1931

 This has a rear section made of cast iron, a steel case and a brass bezel

Overall diameter is 6.25" and is 3.5" deep

It's marked "ATEA", which I believe is a Belgian company, and has the number 1238502A and looks as if it's from the 30's or earlier. I removed the outer case and found it was inscribed on the rear of the dial, presumably by the chap who set up its calibration. It said it read 10 amps and was dated 24/4/31...all in copperplate script. I bought it from a flea market in Antwerp.

Ammeter from 1945


 This is about 9" in diameter and measures 500Amps in 10Amp divisions which are marked by hand and extremely irregular as if it has been set to read fsd then the tester has been backed off little by little and the scale markings inked in. It's marked "ATEA" like the one above and marked H77626 and although it looks older than the one above is actually newer. I removed the case and on the rear of the dial, in the same copperplate script as the 10 Amp meter shown above, possibly written by the same chap over 14 years later, is the date 8/12/45.

I bought both meters from an Antiques Fleamarket in Antwerp in October 2000. The big one was priced 650BF and the smaller 350BF. I didn't want the big one because it would have been difficult to carry so I asked the old chap with the stall his best price for the 10 Amp meter. He said 300Francs (£4.50) and did I want the big one as well. I showed some reluctance and he said I could have the big one for 600 Francs, adding that it was 950 last week. I looked thoughtful until he said I could have them both for 700. I looked a bit more thoughtful and said 500 for the pair, adding that I didn't have much money. The old chap replied that he didn't either so I could have them both for 500 Francs (£7.50). Then I had to carry them around in a couple of carrier bags for a bit with my arms getting stretched.

 Ammeter from 1920s

 This ammeter was found at a car boot sale

I can't date this exactly but it looks maybe 1920s. The firm that made it were active during Edwardian times and made instruments for cars and aircraft.

 Ammeter from 1910s or 1920s

 Another car boot sale purchase

Siemens pay my pension because they bought Plessey in 1989, but this meter was probably made between 1910 and 1925.

The meter is about 7.5" in diameter, that's 187mm in modern money. Like many early meters this instrument must be operated in a perfectly upright position otherwise its pointer will not rest at zero.

It's unusual in that it doesn't need a shunt as most ammeters do. The terminals are connected to a very heavy coil of wire comprising around four turns wound round the mechanism which uses an aluminium damper inside a tube. Not much chance of damaging the movement. It was made by Siemens Brothers and is probably from the first twenty years of the 20th Century. Maybe someone can date it more precisely? Unfortunately there's no date written on the back of the scale.

It works equally well on DC and AC.

 Heavy Current Ammeter

 I can't remember where this meter came from. Its maker was Electrical Apparatus Company, St Albans and it looks late 1930s.

You'll see a picture of the factory if you scroll down.




 A matching pair of large meters

The two meters that follow were made by M.E.C. an English company whom I haven't yet identified. Both have vey clear markings and both have moving coil movements.

See an old hot-wire ammeter

See more test equipment>>