Price Water Current Meter

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William Gunn Price, an employee of the U.S. Engineer Department, designed an exceptionally robust and successful water current meter. This example is the instrument that Gunn, with the aid of four mechanics, built in 1882. It has a five-conical bucket wheel mounted on a vertical-axis, and a four-blade rudder. It is 30.5 inches long. Gunn was living at Paducah, Ky., at that time, and used this meter on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. The U.S. Geological Survey transferred it to the Smithsonian in 1916.
Ref: Arthur H. Frazier, William Gunn Price and the Price Current Meters (Washington, D.C., 1967), p. 40.
Arthur H. Frazier, Water Current Meters in the Smithsonian Collections of the National Museum of History and Technology (Washington, D.C., 1974), pp. 78-87.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1882
overall: 4 1/2 in x 32 1/2 in x 7 1/2 in; 11.43 cm x 82.55 cm x 19.05 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
U. S. Geological Survey
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Water Currents
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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