Eldredge Eclipse Pocketwatch Ammeter  
Written by AnubisTTP on 2023-03-15  



The Eldredge Eclipse is a small handheld pocketwatch ammeter that was released sometime between 1903 and 1907. The Eclipse is built around a size 18 pocketwatch case and is a well made device; a pierced painted dial allows some of the inner workings of the meter movement to be seen, and the dial is protected by a thick beveled crystal of a type that would typically be seen on a decent quality pocketwatch of the era. The Eldredge Eclipse was designed almost exclusively to test #6 dry cells, which produce 30 amps when shorted at full charge and were a common power source at the turn of the 20th century. To test a dry cell, the peg at the bottom of the meter would be brought into contact with the positive terminal of the cell. A cloth wire with a metal probe would have originally been attached to the stud on the bow of the meter, which would be brought into contact with the second terminal of the battery for a brief moment to take a reading. This meter produces an almost direct short when connected across a battery this way; a Victorian-era #6 dry cell could handle this level of abuse easily, but collectors would be ill advised to test modern batteries with this meter.


Eldredge Eclipse Pocketwatch Ammeter
Eldredge Eclipse pocketwatch style meter.

Eldredge Pocketwatch Meter
An advertisement for Eldredge pocketwatch meters from the 1907 issue of the Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal. The #6 dry cells the Eclipse was designed to test were commonly used in early automobile ignition systems.

Eldredge Eclipse Pocketwatch Meter
An advertisement for the Eclipse pocketwach meter from the May 1908 issue of Popular Mechanics.

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