The Meters of Waddamana Power Station
In last week’s blog post I gave you a glimpse of the Waddamana Power Station Museum. This week we take a closer look at some of the fabulous meters in their collection.
Let’s start with the Weston Ammeter manufactured by the Weston Electrical Instrument Company in Newark, New Jersey in the United States. Ammeters are used to measure electric current in a circuit, and this one is proof that you can have pretty scientific instruments. If you look very closely you’ll see that this is number 79051.
Next we have a water pressure meter on one of the London-based Boving & Co turbines. Interestingly it shows the pressure in both pounds per square inch (which anyone who has pumped up a tyre knows as PSI) and feet head of water, presumably to save the engineers having to do conversions between the two.
This meter is also from Boving & Co, but from the days when Mr Jens Orton Boving was still living in Sweden. This one is showing the rate at which the turbines are spinning (in revolutions per minute or rpm). They had a top speed of 1300 rpm, which I thought seemed incredibly fast until I remembered my tiny domestic washing machine spins at 1000 rpm. Which led to a conversation about how they stabilised something so big spinning at this speed. Now the giant bolts make a bit more sense.
Next we have a lovely brass power factor meter from Westinghouse in Manchester, England. I love seeing familiar brand names on old products. I also love that all these meters remind us there was a time when your location was the byline to your brand name.
And finally we have another meter measuring power, with separate meters for amperes (amps) and volts. Despite a valiant search I can’t discover which company this lovely little logo belongs to. Another mini business lesson perhaps – including your brand name will mean you’re remembered long after people stop recognising your logo.
As I mentioned last week, if you want to see more, Waddamana Power Station Museum is open daily between 10am and 4pm, every day except Christmas Day and Good Friday. Admission is free.