Collecting Old Multimeters

From L-RWeston, GEC, Simpson

From L-R
Weston, GEC, Simpson

I’ve sort of began collecting older multimeters. I guess I sort of fell into it.  Quite a few years ago before I had even considered a career in the electrical field or really built up an interest in electricity, my grandad gave me an old multimeter he had used when he lived and worked back in England. He was a diesel mechanic and moved to Canada in 1957. The meter is an old General Electric Company (GEC) meter. *Quick Fact: General Electric Company (GEC) was British and completely seperate and unrelated from the American company named General Electric (GE).*

General Electric Company of England multimeter.

General Electric Company of England multimeter.

It’s interesting to note, that for a multimeter from this time, it is incredibly small. A lot of them were much bigger for this time. I’ve taken good care of it since he gave it to me and now that I’m getting into the field and have a big interest now, I proudly sit it on a shelf in the living room beside an old Weston meter I picked up earlier in the year.

The Weston comes in a small wooden box (I don’t know if they were sold like this or if it was the owner who made this carrying box for it). It also has a leather strap to make it easier to carry. The leads are very old and frail. The meter itself and the box are incredibly aged and the glass is cracked a bit. It looks awesome though, especially beside the GEC meter. From what I’ve seen in doing a bit of research, it looks like a lot of the Weston’s were sold as just the gauge/panel analog display in a box and then that was built into a wood carrying case or however the owner wanted it. Weston made some really old meters that look very cool I’d love to get my hands on really old one should I ever stumble across one someday.

Just today I found a Simpson analog meter. The  guy was asking $65 but I got him down to $50. We talked for a minute and when I

An old Weston multimeter, Model: 506 Type J1

told him I was an electrical student at Fleming College, he said he’d go down to $45 to help me out. I thought this was really cool and I couldn’t turn it down. It’s Simpson analog meter model#: TS 113. It measures DC volts (3v, 15v, 60v, 150v), AC volts (3v, 15v, 60v, 150v), DC amps (6A, 30A), as well as measuring ohms. I tried it out and it works great and reads accurately. The meter itself also seems to be built into a leather carrying case with a card on the opening that explains how to use it says it’s a Ontario Hydro meter.

So that’s my collection to date. I’ve seen a few other meters around but they didn’t seem to be anywhere near as old as the ones I have. I’ve also got some really old books on electricity. One on Electricity & Magnetism and I’ve got a volume of Audel’s Electric Clibrary from the 1920’s. However, the Audel’s collection is missing three books from the set so I’m on the lookout for those. Only thing is, they need to be from the same year of issue as mine are. Audel’s released their Electric Library set many years all the way up to the 1960’s I believe.

Simpson Model: TS 113

Simpson Model: TS 113

Anyway, it’s late and I’m going to get going to bed. I have my Electronic Circuits class tomorrow morning at 8AM. We’ve been building a lot of circuits with transistors lately. These transistor circuits get so complicated sometimes and I find I have to re-read a lot of what’s in the textbooks or in lectures to get a good understanding of it. Even then, sometimes I still scratch my head.

Oh well, It’ll come.


PS: If anybody has any more info on these meters such as the years, I’d love to hear from you!


Backside of the GEC meter.


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