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Title: Voltage Meter
Identifier: 2002.1.101
Donor: Bill Gray
Item Date: 1898-1920
Image Creator: Museums of Mississauga
Creation Date: 2006
Location: Bradley Museum

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Description: Wooden cased voltage meter from Weston Electrical Instrument Corporation. This meter is a rectangular shaped box with a viewing window to read measurement; it has a leather handle and a braided electrical cord; it is "model 155, n 64563"; an engraving on the metal label indicates: "Weston Electrical Instrument Corp. Newark. N.J.U.S.A, patented. Jan1.95. Mar.22.98. Oct. 4. 98. Other Patents Pending". History: Weston Electrical Instrument Corporation was founded by Edward Weston(1850-1936) in 1888 and was his fourth and last company. The Company was located in New Jersey, USA. Weston Electrical Instrument Corporation's innovations included the Weston standard cell, the first accurate portable voltmeters, ammeters and light meters. Weston trained as a doctor but became a chemist and while working for an electroplating company he developed and manufactured a successful electroplating dynamo. His focus then turned to lighting systems and he became a leader in that area. His company supplied the light for the new Brooklyn Bridge in 1883 and by 1886 he held over 186 patents related to lighting devices. His focus changed in 1888 when his attention was switched to measuring equipment. This company is still in existence today. See www.weston.ftldesign.com. This meter is from the St Lawrence Starch Company in Port Credit. The St. Lawrence Starch Company was founded in 1889 by John Gray. It was a corn wet-milling operation with the purpose of producing starch and glucose from corn. Many of the product lines produced by St. Lawrence Starch are still in use today such as Durham Starch and Bee Hive Corn Syrup. Food products were only a small portion of the business done at St. Lawrence Starch as starch is an additive in many industrial products such as cement and plastic. St. Lawrence Starch was located at the bottom of Hurontario Street and Lakeshore Road in Port Credit. It was a major industry for this area. The milling operation closed down in 1990 due to competition and high tariffs on corn. In 1993 St. Lawrence Starch announced a marketing alliance with Cargill, Minneapolis, which provides Cargill with exclusive sales services of corn sweeteners and corn starches in the Canadian Market. The St. Lawrence Starch Company had itís own generator on site due to the vast quantities of power needed. It was also necessary as it ran at a higher voltage than what was available to everyone else. The factory had a whole department devoted to generating power for the plant. These instruments were used to measure voltage. Hurricane Hazel passed through the area in 1954 but St. Lawrence Starch was one of the only businesses not effected due to itís own power plant. For more information on the St Lawrence Starch Company, see "St Lawrence Starch 100 Years 1889-1989".
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