16.07-6: Starrett 1942 Telescoping Inside Gauges

HHCC Accession No. 2006.214HHCC Classification Code: 16.07-6

Set of 4 telescoping inside gauges, range ‘ inch to 2 1/8 inches, varying in thousands of an inch. Each is beautifully crafted in machine steel with spring loaded plunger, knurled handle and knurled locking screw embedded in the handle, an example of the precision tools available to Canadian machinists and HVACR mechanics by the 1940’s - on which they would depend. Used, among other things, to measure the inside diameter of electric motor bearings, compressor cylinder displacement etc. In hansom, slide-top, wooden box, Model 229, Starrett, Circa 1942


16.07 Electric Motors - Installation, Test and Repair




L. S. Starrett Co. Athol, Mass.



Serial No.:



6x 3 x 1.5 inch h.


5 ozs.




Exhibit, education, and research quality, illustrating the finely crafted, precision hand tools on which refrigeration mechanics, involved in repair and rebuilding of HVACR equipment, would come to depend by the middle of the 20th century.

Patent Date/Number:

From York County (York Region) Ontario, once rich agricultural hinterlands, attracting early settlement in the last years of the 18th century. Located on the north slopes of the Oak Ridges Moraine, within 20 miles of Toronto, the County would also attract early ex-urban development, to become a wealthy market place for the emerging household and consumer technologies of the early and mid 20th century.

This artifact was discovered in the 1950’s in the used stock of T. H. Oliver, Refrigeration and Electric Sales and Service, Aurora, Ontario, an early worker in the field of agricultural, industrial and consumer technology.

Type and Design:

Set of 4 spring loaded plunger type telescoping inside gauges, range ‘ inch to 2 1/8 inches, varying in thousands of an inch. Each is beautifully crafted in machine steel with, knurled handle and knurled locking screw embedded in the handle.

Special Features:

Hansom, slide-top, wooden box, not original with current contents. The box, originally made by Starrett for its micrometer calliper, had clearly been commandeered for use in holding this set of telescoping gauges together. With rich patina resulting from years of use in shop practice

Performance Characteristics:
Control and Regulation:
Targeted Market Segment:
Consumer Acceptance:
Market Price:
Technological Significance:

This set of precision telescoping, plunger gauges tells many stories of its time: The increasing sophistication of the repair, test and measurement equipment used by HVACR workers by the 1940’s ‘ those involved in repair and rebuilding of equipment The increasing demands made HVACR mechanics and the accompanying need for precision measuring instruments required for equipment: re-engineering, rebuilding, installation, performance monitoring, trouble-shooting, diagnosis and repair.

Industrial Significance:

The instrument is a marker of the vastly changing times in the Canadian refrigeration industry, evident by the 1940’s. Many changes were occurring in the industry; the embryonic and early development years of the 1920’ and 30’s were now history. The industry had new more sophisticated equipment, new refrigerants, and new applications and markets to be served. The 1940’s and 50’s was a period in which much repair and rebuilding took place, especially of open style compressors and electric motors. Small shops evolved to do this work as the opportunity arose. By the 1940’s -50’s the race was on for higher and higher measures of HVACR equipment performance [efficiency quietness, lower temperatures, etc], as well as increasing reliability, maintainability of equipment ‘ still desperately crude judged by what would soon follow. Meeting these market demands, expanding the market for equipment would depend on achieving greater precision in manufacture, maintenance and repair ‘ using new science, new technology, new tools,new procedures, and training in new techniques and practices.

Socio-economic Significance:
Socio-cultural Significance:

G. Leslie Oliver, The T. H. Oliver HVACR Collection

HHCC Storage Location:
Bibliographic References:

Machinery and Supplies, The A. R. Williams Machinery Company, Limited, Toronto, Cat No 48, undated. P. 249


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