Worthington Water Meter

This water meter, with an iron case marked “WORTHINGTON” and serial number 55,542, was probably made in Brooklyn in the late nineteenth century. The signature refers to Henry R. Worthington (1817-1880), a New York inventor and manufacturer who specialized in pumps and other hydraulic machinery, and whose duplex-piston water meter (covered by U.S. Patent 13,320 of July 24, 1855) was the first successful water meter made in the United States. Scientific American reported in 1880 that over 20,000 Worthington water meters were in daily use, the form having “been adopted by all the principal water works in the United States and Canada.” The original form was still on the market at the turn of the century.
Ref: “American Industries. No. 55. The Manufacture of Pumping Engines and Water Meters,” Scientific American 43 (1880): 149.
Object Name
water meter
date made
ca 1890-1900
Worthington, Henry R.
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
overall: 17 in x 14 1/2 in x 20 in; 43.18 cm x 36.83 cm x 50.8 cm
place made
United States: New York, Brooklyn
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Water Meters
Measuring & Mapping
Natural Resources
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Water Meters
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
A.A. Hirsch

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