Hall Water Current Meter

While serving as California’s first State Engineer, William Hammond Hall created the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and worked on a comprehensive water supply and flood control system for the Sacramento Valley. For this latter purpose he designed an electric water current meter similar to that developed E. E. Haskell at the U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey. This example is 14 inches long, has two flukes, one on each side of the central axis, and is equipped for a rod suspension. It was used in the U.S. Irrigation Survey, a project of the U.S. Geological Survey begun in the late 1880s. The Geological Survey transferred it to the Smithsonian in 1916.
Ref: J. W. Powell, “Irrigation Survey—Second Annual Report,” in Report of the Secretary of the Interior (Washington, D.C., 1890), vol. 4, part 2, p. 10.
Arthur H. Frazier, Water Current Meters in the Smithsonian Collections of the National Museum of History and Technology (Washington, D.C., 1974), pp. 63-64.
Currently not on view
Object Name
water current meter
date made
late 19th century
overall: 14 in; 35.56 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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