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Old 9th Jul 2021, 6:55 pm   #1
high_vacuum_house
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Default Old Ferranti electric meter spotted under a tree near Belper

Good evening,
I went on a longish walk today from home and followed the river Derwent northwards out of Belper. On passing some derelict industrial units out of the town I spotted this old Ferranti electric meter lurking under a tree. It must have been lurking under there quite a while as the box was full of rainwater (no help someone had smashed the glass) and the aluminium disk was seized. It was still attached to a sizable chunk of switchboard slate about 1" thick. I decided to take a couple of pictures of it and put it back under its tree to "mature"!! It's too heavy to carry it back home 4-5 miles especially with the big chunk of slate screwed to the back!! (unless anyone would like it for a restoration challenge!! I could take a rucksack though the local walkers would think I had completely lost it!!)

Christopher Capener
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Old 14th Jul 2021, 10:55 am   #2
David Simpson
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Default Re: Old Ferranti electric meter spotted under a tree near Belper

I'm guessing, Christopher, its pre-war. Going by its size - possibly 3ph. When I first joined Scottish Hydro-Electric in 1978 there were still a number of smaller, bakelite KW/h dial display meters from the late 40's/early 50's. Most common were the more modern numeral display meters, often Smiths.
I dont think your meter has any commercial value, even if restored. Definitely too far gone, I reckon.

Regards, David
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Old 14th Jul 2021, 12:00 pm   #3
emeritus
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Default Re: Old Ferranti electric meter spotted under a tree near Belper

No doubt, cleaned up and re-painted, a Steampunk afficionado would be able to turn it into an expensive table lamp!
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Old 14th Jul 2021, 12:06 pm   #4
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Default Re: Old Ferranti electric meter spotted under a tree near Belper

Now thats a thought. We all (well most of us) hate the idea of vintage radio and electronic items being turned into lamps, but if the item is like this, beyond restoration to its original function, is it now acceptable to turn into a lamp?

Peter
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Old 14th Jul 2021, 12:07 pm   #5
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Default Re: Old Ferranti electric meter spotted under a tree near Belper

Green Tariff, buyer collects.

Lawrence.
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Old 14th Jul 2021, 12:14 pm   #6
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Default Re: Old Ferranti electric meter spotted under a tree near Belper

Shown as "Wire Mills" on old maps, if I'm looking in the right place.

https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Richar...son_and_Nephew

http://www.crichparish.co.uk/newwebp...ireworks2.html

A nice retro, cast iron case for something new, maybe.
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Old 14th Jul 2021, 12:20 pm   #7
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Default Re: Old Ferranti electric meter spotted under a tree near Belper

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Simpson View Post
I dont think your meter has any commercial value, even if restored.
Agreed, but https://www.thearchitecturalforum.co...-power-station

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/13...g?v=1618933871
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Old 14th Jul 2021, 12:47 pm   #8
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Default Re: Old Ferranti electric meter spotted under a tree near Belper

Turn it into a Steampunk item. No use for anything else, so better that than nothing ie landfill.
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Old 14th Jul 2021, 12:52 pm   #9
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Default Re: Old Ferranti electric meter spotted under a tree near Belper

If a steampunk is steered to that meter, it might displace an AVO or old radio from their attentions, and thereby turn into something good from the vintage radio point of view.

Tell 'em there's a load of tiny brass gears in the thing!

David
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Old 14th Jul 2021, 1:25 pm   #10
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Default Re: Old Ferranti electric meter spotted under a tree near Belper

Pragmatically, steampunking might be the least worst option in this case- that ironwork should clean and paint up quite nicely and whilst the guts are probably irreparably corroded by now, the face with dials at least adds to the old-tech appeal. It looks heavy enough to make a good, stable lamp base!

I expect that the local scallies abandoned it after stripping the electrics from a derelict workshop and cropping/wrenching the copper tails out.
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Old 14th Jul 2021, 2:25 pm   #11
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Default Re: Old Ferranti electric meter spotted under a tree near Belper

The front panel could be cleaned up and hung from a wall as a kind of 3D picture.
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Old 14th Jul 2021, 2:44 pm   #12
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Default Re: Old Ferranti electric meter spotted under a tree near Belper

Maybe we should start a geo location app for abandoned technical stuff.
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Old 14th Jul 2021, 6:10 pm   #13
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Default Re: Old Ferranti electric meter spotted under a tree near Belper

Good evening,
Nickthedentist has got the location right first time!! It looks like it had an interesting history. I might go for a walk and take my big rucksack with me. It is quite heavy!! I shall see if I can restore it cosmetically.

Christopher Capener
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Old 14th Jul 2021, 9:38 pm   #14
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Default Re: Old Ferranti electric meter spotted under a tree near Belper

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickthedentist View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Simpson View Post
I dont think your meter has any commercial value, even if restored.
Agreed, but https://www.thearchitecturalforum.co...-power-station
From Hollinwood to Pinewood!
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Old 15th Jul 2021, 5:54 am   #15
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Default Re: Old Ferranti electric meter spotted under a tree near Belper

Rather than turn it into a lamp, what about a clock? 😉

Cheers.

SimonT.
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Old 15th Jul 2021, 8:34 am   #16
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Default Re: Old Ferranti electric meter spotted under a tree near Belper

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickthedentist View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Simpson View Post
I dont think your meter has any commercial value, even if restored.
Agreed, but https://www.thearchitecturalforum.co...-power-station

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/13...g?v=1618933871
Blimey!

The museum where I volunteer (Anson Engine Museum, if you're interested) has one of the enormous diesel gen sets from Pinewood, if I am not mistaken. I think they'd be quite amused to see someone trying to flog a leccy meter for that much. I don't think the scrap man would give that much for the gen set, large as it is!

I really like the nixie clock suggestion. But a mechanical clock using the meter dials would also be very interesting (to me, who finds cutting gears easier than dealing with logic chips - to my shame, on here ).
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Old 15th Jul 2021, 9:10 am   #17
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Default Re: Old Ferranti electric meter spotted under a tree near Belper

How about an internet radio streamer?

Am thinking touchscreen, Raspberry Pi & minimod, housed in a gloss black enclosure with the raised metalwork painted gold? (dives for cover).

Mark
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Old 15th Jul 2021, 9:17 am   #18
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Default Re: Old Ferranti electric meter spotted under a tree near Belper

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark_in_manc View Post

I really like the nixie clock suggestion. But a mechanical clock using the meter dials would also be very interesting (to me, who finds cutting gears easier than dealing with logic chips - to my shame, on here ).

You'd have to recalibrate the dial markings on the tens of hours and tens of minutes dials as well as some interesting gear ratio changes in the train!

Reading the time at a glance would be an acquired skill- relevant digit being the one last passed by the pointer with reference to the next pointer along in case of uncertainty! Not too difficult if you already have a rough idea of what the time might be.....

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Old 15th Jul 2021, 11:26 am   #19
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Default Re: Old Ferranti electric meter spotted under a tree near Belper

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herald1360 View Post
Reading the time at a glance would be an acquired skill- relevant digit being the one last passed by the pointer with reference to the next pointer along in case of uncertainty! Not too difficult if you already have a rough idea of what the time might be...
Further complicated by the dials alternating between clockwise and anti-clockwise.
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Old 15th Jul 2021, 11:39 am   #20
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Default Re: Old Ferranti electric meter spotted under a tree near Belper

Use small stepper motors, what larks.
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