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About Thomson Dc Watt Hour Meter

This exquisite instrument is a prime example of how, in a bygone era, form and function both figured into the design process to a much greater extent than today. Components were made with a certain degree of aesthetic consideration, and were manufactured to last 'forever'. To appreciate just how dramatically techniques have evolved in the past century, one need only run out and examine the watthour meter the local electric company has fastened to the house and then contrast it with this superb, precision apparatus. The photographs below were all taken through the glass enclosure, which would benefit from a cleaning on the inside, and hence do not do justice to the luster and detail of the instrument. The elaborate polished brass of the internal mechanism is stunning. Offered here is a rare and extremely fine Thomson Watt-hour Meter made by the General Electric Company of Schenectady. A brass name plate identifies it as being for direct current, '3 wire, No. 3505288, Type CS, amperes 400, volts 231-240'. The same serial number is stamped onto the top of the cast aluminum base plate on the rear of the meter, which measures 20' X 11-1/2' X 1'. The solid brass frame of the front glass enclosure, currently retaining its original black paint, features coved front edges and measures 19' X 10-1/2' X 8'. The bottom panel of glass is missing from this cover, but could be easily replaced. Two of the machine screws securing the enclosure to the back plate are safety-wired and sealed ('T. D. E. CO') to prevent tampering. Protruding from the rear panel are mounting studs as well as two for voltage connections, and four massive copper current studs (1/2' diameter X 4' long). The device incorporates an extremely ornate, all heavy brass, meter mechanism frame with twin 3' diameter center-mounted armatures and a top-mounted 5-digit dial readout of accumulated kilowatt-hours. This meter is in excellent condition and would make an exciting and attractive centerpiece to any electrical collection. The option exists, of course, to remove the black paint from the enclosure frame and polish the underlying brass.