The Meter Manufacturers’ Exchange
There aren’t many men still living who can recall the time when it was necessary to change cars eight or ten times between New York and Chicago—a trip that consumed the better part of a week. No two connecting railroads had the same gauge of track. Two or three different widths were used in the State of New York alone. But most of us who have to do with water meters don’t have to go back very far to recall the time when every city engineer had his own individual idea as to what a meter coupling should be and wished to insist upon its adoption. Endless confusion, delay and extra expense could be the only results of such a policy just as it was for the traveling public before the railroads of the country adopted a standard gauge. Water works superintendents the country over owe a debt of gratitude to the Meter Manufacturers’ Exchange for its adoption of simple, interchangeable standards.
After several years of careful study, the engineers of all the water meter manufacturers working in cooperation with the joint committee of the American Water Works Association and New England Water Works Association finally adopted a standard specification on water meters which is to be officially presented at the current meeting of the American Water Works Association.
It was in the field of standardization that the most important work of the Exchange was carried on so that it is greatly to be regretted that progress in this direction should have been temporarily halted by a political upheaval. The matter of the other activities of the exchange are to be passed upon by the U. S. Supreme Court and there appears to be little doubt of a favorable decision. But it takes a long time for cases to reach the Supreme Court and meanwhile it is to be hoped that the work of standardization will not be dropped.