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Multimeter

Details

Artifact no.
1985.0825.001
Model
SWAIL BRAILLE
Manufacturer
National Research Council Canada
Manufacturer Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Manufactured Date
Circa 1948
Context Function
TO TAKE READINGS OF VOLTAGE, CURRENT AND RESISTANCE FOR A SIGHTLESS OPERATOR, WHO MOVES THE POINTER AROUND THE DIAL UNTIL THE READING IS INDICATED BY THE AUDITORY NULL IN THE HEADPHONES.
Context Technical
ONE OF THE FIRST EXAMPLES OF SPECIALIZED LABORATORY EQUIPMENT CONSTRUCTED TO MEET THE NEEDS OF BLIND SCIENTISTS & ENGINEERS. SWAIL WAS FIRST EMPLOYED BY NRC IN 1947, AND BUILT THESE FOR HIS USE THEN. MCSHEFFREY DESCRIBED IT TO ME IN 1985 AS A "VOLTMETER" - "A REAL MUSEUM PIECE" DATING FROM C.1960, THE ONLY SURVIVOR OF A WHOLE SET OF METERING INSTRUMENTS THAT SWAIL BUILT BEFORE 1964 WHEN THEY STARTED TO MODIFY EXISTING INSTRUMENTS, SUCH AS THE SIMPSON METERS. BUT FROM THE LITERATURE THIS CLOSELY RESEMBLES THE ORIGINAL 1948 "RADIO MULTIMETER" (SEE PHOTO, ONLY HANDLE HAS BEEN ADDED LATER) AND THIS MAY IN FACT BE THAT ORIGINAL ONE.
Context Canada
ONE OF FIRST INSTRUMENTS DESIGNED BY, AND BUILT FOR JIM SWAIL AT NRC FOR HIS OWN USE.
Description
STEEL BOX/ PLASTIC KNOBS/ PLASTIC PLATE WITH RAISED BRAILLE MARKINGS/ RUBBER FEET/ POINTER IS A BENT NAIL.
Number of Parts
1
Artifact Finish
BOX HAS GREY PAINT (?) KRINKLE-TEXTUREDFINISH/ KNOBS AREBLACK WITH WHITE MARKINGS AND ARE TEXTURED FOR BETTER GRIP.
Artifact Markings
BRAILLE MARKINGS ON PLASTIC DIAL PLATE; TO INDICATE DIVISIONS & SUB- DIVISIONS; NUMBERS IN SILVER-COLOUR ARE MORE VISIBLE ON LOWER LEFT DIAL THAN ONLOWER RIGHT; 'SWAIL N.R.C.', 'ORIGINAL VOLTMETER DATE ERROR ESTIMATE -1948' HANDWRITTEN ON 2 SQUARE STICKERS ON TOP.
Artifact Missing
POWER CORD; REQUIRES HEADPHONES TO OPERATE.
Group 1
Communications
Category 1
Radio
Subcategory 1
Service-test equipment
Material
metal->;synthetic->plastic;resin->rubber
Length
21.3 cm
Width
21.0 cm