Ott Water Current Meter

Albert Ott was a precision instrument maker who began in business in Kempton, a small town in Bavaria, in 1880, and was later joined by his sons, Herman and Ludwig. Over the years, the Otts collaborated with many distinguished European hydraulic engineers. This example, which dates from around 1917, is marked with the Ott monogram. The additional “Keuffel & Essser, Co., New York, No. 2237” signature refers to the firm that imported these instruments into the United States. The National Bureau of Standards, the organization that calibrated current meters for federal agencies and engineers in private practice, transferred it to the Smithsonian in 1959.
Ref: Horace Williams King, Handbook of Hydraulics for the Solution of Hydrostatic and Fluid-Flow Problems (New York, 1918), p. 236.
Arthur H. Frazier, Water Current Meters in the Smithsonian Collections of the National Museum of History and Technology (Washington, D.C., 1974), pp. 68-71.
Currently not on view
Object Name
water current meter
date made
ca 1920
Keuffel & Esser Co.
Ott, Albert
overall: 16 1/2 in; x 41.91 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Water Currents
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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