Lambert Water Meter

This is a frost-proof disc water meter with serial number 1,193,509 that fit a ⅝” pipe, and that was made by the Thomson Meter Company in Brooklyn, New York, probably in the 1920s.
John Thomson, a prolific Scottish-born inventor raised in the United States, was one of the first Americans to realize the advantages of a disc water meter. In the mid-1880s, Thomson met Frank Lambert, a French machinist in Brooklyn who had designed a typewriter with the letters arranged on a nutating disc. Working together, the two men designed a water meter featuring a nutating disk. The Water-Waste Prevention Company was then formed, and reorganized as the Thomson Meter Company in 1891. With Lambert as its president, Thomson Meter introduced the Lambert in 1898, claiming that the new model “embodied all the improvements which the tests of time and long service have proved to be requisite in a perfect meter.” Despite this early claim, Lambert would go on to suggest dozens of improvements, many of them designed to make the meter frost proof, over the course of the next several decades. This particular meter is equipped with the “Yielding Fastening for Joints” for which Lambert received a patent (#1,377,986I in 1921. The Neptune Meter Company acquired Thomson Meter in 1925 and was still offering Lambert meters in the late 1930s.
Ref: Thomson Meter Co., (1923).
date made
Thomson Meter Company
place made
United States: New York, Brooklyn
Physical Description
bronze (overall material)
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
A.A. Hirsch
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Water Meters
Natural Resources
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


I have Lambert meter no. 1,063,883 and have had the exterior restored. Does anyone have any idea what year this was manufactured? It was in my home when I bought it back in the early 1970s and trust me, it was old at that time.

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