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Thread: Watkins Bee Meter

  1. #1
    Foamer
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    South Dakota
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    549

    Watkins Bee Meter

    As I dive ever deeper in photography history, I come across more and more stuff I've never heard of. Yeterday I received a 1909 guide to photography published by Burke & James (The ABC of Photograpy.) It's fascinating! One of the advertised products is a Watkins Bee Meter. I'm somewhat familiar with the "extinction meters", but this is something a little different. They look pretty cool! Do they actually still work? If I bought one, would it be able to give me an exposure reading I could use with my ISO 25 Efke film? It looks like they were the best meter between 1903 and 1932, when the Weston meter came out. Or, were they mostly just a gimmick?


    Kent in SD
    Gud blessi Island!

  2. #2
    Andy Eads
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Pasco, Washington - the dry side of the state
    Posts
    163

    Re: Watkins Bee Meter

    Check this link for a good description of how it operated.
    http://www.jollinger.com/photo/meter...tkins_bee.html

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Tamworth, Staffordshire. U.K.
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    1,085

    Re: Watkins Bee Meter

    Alfred Watkins was an interesting bloke who lived in the town of Cheltenham Spa. There's a lot on him on Google. He owned a brewery, kept bees (hence the name of the meter) and was generlally loaded. One of the weird things was that he invented/discovered Ley Lines (he might have been on his ale that day).
    Pete.

  4. #4
    Foamer
    Join Date
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    South Dakota
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    549

    Re: Watkins Bee Meter

    Read the website, and it looks like the meters won't be usuable since it needs those paper refills. Apparently they worked to some extent, though.


    Kent in SD
    Gud blessi Island!

  5. #5
    Vanannan
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Isle Of Man
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    412

    Re: Watkins Bee Meter

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Watkins View Post
    Alfred Watkins was an interesting bloke who lived in the town of Cheltenham Spa. There's a lot on him on Google. He owned a brewery, kept bees (hence the name of the meter) and was generlally loaded. One of the weird things was that he invented/discovered Ley Lines (he might have been on his ale that day).
    Pete.
    Related Pete ?

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Lancashire UK
    Posts
    22

    Re: Watkins Bee Meter

    I think you will find he lived in Hereford! I have a bee-meter with the original box and instructions, and no, they don't work now but they are nicely made things

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    253

    Re: Watkins Bee Meter

    I have a Bee meter, looks like a fine old pocket watch with a bob on the end of a small chain. Got it with several unopened packs of the paper that one used in them for exposure readings. The papers are probably fogged to
    "sunny 16" by now. Neat fine old meter.

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