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Author Topic: Antique steam/air meter--what is this thing?  (Read 1370 times)

parallelmotion

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Antique steam/air meter--what is this thing?
« on: June 09, 2024, 07:46:30 am »
Well, it's full-sized but I have no idea what this is other than a meter of some sort. It's like a steam or air turbine and is running on air in the video clip. Probably 19th century. The base is tapered to fit into whatever it was measuring. Anyone? Thanks. https://youtu.be/qns0lhA77Y8

RedRyder

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Re: Antique steam/air meter--what is this thing?
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2024, 08:07:08 am »
I would guess it measures the volume of gas or liquid passed through it.

parallelmotion

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Re: Antique steam/air meter--what is this thing?
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2024, 08:15:27 am »
Thanks Gil. That's what I was thinking, but for what sort of machine? A boiler? The counter could also be measuring rpms(?). Tapered stem base fits into something...

Stoker

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Re: Antique steam/air meter--what is this thing?
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2024, 12:33:14 pm »
Obviously, it must be some form of gas flow meter, but I would think from the way it is formed, that it must only be for measuring the flow/volume of "Exhaust" gases. The way it is built can only accommodate gases that are exhausting to the atmosphere, as if it were intended to measure the flow of gas within a pipe, the readout would not be visible to be read.
"Information is not knowledge, Knowledge is not wisdom, Wisdom is not truth, Truth is not beauty, Beauty is not love, Love is not music: Music is THE BEST...   
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parallelmotion

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Re: Antique steam/air meter--what is this thing?
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2024, 01:30:20 pm »
Good point. I suppose it could just as easily be used to measure steam or air flow.

RedRyder

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Re: Antique steam/air meter--what is this thing?
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2024, 04:41:33 pm »
Have you tried passing liquid though it.
Like measuring what came out of hour whiskey barrel?

parallelmotion

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Re: Antique steam/air meter--what is this thing?
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2024, 04:53:25 pm »
Haven't tried it Gil. I'm afraid of getting water into the gears, etc. under the glass. The rotor appears to be for air, gas, or steam, much like a steam turbine and unlike a pelton wheel for water.

RedRyder

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Re: Antique steam/air meter--what is this thing?
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2024, 08:35:34 pm »
Good point, Brent. Water might no be best for the gear case.

It looks like quite a precision piece of machinery.

parallelmotion

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Re: Antique steam/air meter--what is this thing?
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2024, 06:41:26 am »
I think I found the answer now which is 'none of the above'. I will make another video later with full disclosure. Thanks everyone.

parallelmotion

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Re: Antique steam/air meter--what is this thing?
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2024, 08:22:05 am »
Well, thanks to a link provided by another youtuber, I have found the answer which is much stranger than expected. It's an early scientific device used to determine the frequencies of sounds. It is an early siren invented by Frenchman Cagniard de la Tour in 1819. These instruments were used to determine frequencies of sound by associating specific tones with revolutions per second of the rotating disc. De la Tour is credited with many other discoveries in physics in addition to inventing (and naming) the siren. Here's a good article for further reading:
https://civil-defense-sirens.fandom.com/wiki/De_la_Tour%27s_Siren


Stoker

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Re: Antique steam/air meter--what is this thing?
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2024, 08:58:12 am »
Wow!

That is even better, and far more wonderful, for you to be in possession of such a seminal piece of history. I truly can't imagine that very many of these instruments were ever made, so its rarity seems certain!

What an incredibly cool find, and an amazing thing to have!!!

As an aside, I would say that I nailed this instruments function perfectly, even if not actually identifying its true purpose!
"Information is not knowledge, Knowledge is not wisdom, Wisdom is not truth, Truth is not beauty, Beauty is not love, Love is not music: Music is THE BEST...   
Wisdom is the domain of the Wis (which is extinct). Beauty is a French phonetic corruption of a short cloth neck ornament currently in resurgence..."
F. Zappa ... by way of Mary, the girl from the bus.

txlabman

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Re: Antique steam/air meter--what is this thing?
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2024, 09:12:49 am »
What a great find Brent.

The mystery is solved.