Lambert Water Meter

This is a disc water meter with split case and no serial number, that fit a ⅝” pipe. The brass case is marked “SPECIAL.” The cap is marked “THE LAMBERT M.F.D. BY THOMSON METER CO.” The dial reads in gallons.
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, he met Frank Lambert, a French machinist in Brooklyn who had designed a typewriter with the letters arranged on a nutating disc. Working together, Thomson and Lambert designed a water meter featuring a nutating disk. The Water-Waste Prevention Company was formed to produce meters of this sort, and reorganized as the Thomson Meter Company in 1891. With Lambert as its president, Thomson Meter introduced the Lambert meter 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.” The Neptune Meter Company acquired Thomson Meter in 1925 and was still offering Lambert meters in the late 1930s.
date made
ca 1898-ca 1925
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


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