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Meter tester?

GeneratorGus

Registered
Age
72
A friend stopped by to show me this old device he picked up. Looks like a tester to me, but for what, I'm thinking meters.
There are 8 dry cells inside, connected in series, but 9 would fit. What would the start button do?
Nice old style batteries, all the same "Eastern" brand.
There is an old newspaper lining the box, I was tempted to try to pull it out , but it would probably disintegrate.
 

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radiodoc

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
02/04/2021
A friend stopped by to show me this old device he picked up. Looks like a tester to me, but for what, I'm thinking meters.
There are 8 dry cells inside, connected in series, but 9 would fit. What would the start button do?
Nice old style batteries, all the same "Eastern" brand.
There is an old newspaper lining the box, I was tempted to try to pull it out , but it would probably disintegrate.
Just an absolute guess. A Charles Lentz & Sons company dealt in medical and surgical instruments. Perhaps this was an instrument using something attached to it and was used to cauterize wounds?
 

diggin4s

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/17/2019
Variable resistor & a small rotary switch, I'd guess its a power supply for a motor.
 

georgineer

Registered
I don't believe it involves high or 'shocking' voltage at all. To my eye, the coils are part of a two-gang rheostat. The LH limb is wound with thick wire, and is connected to the LH 'C' terminal. The RH limb is wound with thinner wire, corroded and broken, and is connected to the LH 'L' terminal. The RH terminals are commoned together and appear to be fed from the drum switch, though I cannot interpret the switch wiring from the photographs.

The rheostat slider is common to both limbs, and is connected to the 'northernmost' terminal of the switch, and thence to the battery, though I can't be sure which pole. The eight cells would give 12 volts total. The START label is at the high resistance position of the rheostat, which is consistent with motor starting as suggested by diggin4s, though it might be something to do with soft starting of lamps of different wattages. I'd love to know what C and L stand for!

The drum switch must have internal connections between the segments - there are hints of buried wires in the photo - and it would help enormously to have a photo of the switch wiring 'combed out' so we can see what connects to where. I think I can see at least one disconnected wire. Overall, the wiring seems surprisingly amateurish given the professional looking front to the panel.

George B.
 
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