N O T E S F R O M T H E N A T I O N A L B U R E A U O F S T A N D A R D S . *
WAR TIME REVISION OF CODE FOR ELECTRICITY M E T E R S .
For more than three decades the Code for ElectricityMeters has been the generally recognized standard of practicein the art of metering electric energy. Originally issued inI9IO by the jo in t action of the Mete r ('ommittees of theNational Electric L igh t Association and the Association ofEdison Illuminating Companies, the Code has been revisedfrom time to time, the latest extensive revision having beencompleted in May I941 u n d e r ASA Sectional Committe~'procedure, with the Bureau, the Association of Edison Illumi-nating Companies, and the Edison Electric Institute as jo in tsponsors. The Code has formed a guide for the officialregulations promulgated by the public utility commissions ofmany States, and in some States has been adopted in toto.One of the many practices recommended in the Code is asuggested schedule for the periodic testing and readjustmentof watthour meters.
The flow of manpower to war industrv anti to the Armyhas left the utility meter departments with depleted staffs ofskilled testers. Limitations on gasoline and rubber are furtherreducing the number of meters per day which a single testercan handle. It therefore appeared desirable, if it were tech-nically advisable, to reduce the burden of m e t e r testing byincreasing the permissible interval between tests of thesmaller sizes of meters, particularly those in residences, whichconstitute the great bulk of the meters in use.
At the suggestion of the EEI and the AEIC, the SectionalCommittee CI2 was constituted a War Standards Committeefor this purpose and certain vacancies in its membership werefilled. The question was first referred to a subcommitteeconsisting of F. E. Davis, Commonwealth and SouthernCorporation; P. I.. Holland, Publ ic [Ttilities Commission ofMaryland; R. H. Nexsen, Publ ic Service Commission of New
* Communicated by the Director.17')
I 8 0 N A T I O N A L B U R E A U OF STANDARDS N O T E S . [J. 1:. t.
York; L. D. Price, Public Service Electric and Gas Company;A. R. Rutter, Westinghouse Electric and ManufacturingCompany; and F. B. Silsbee, National Bureau of Standards,Chairman.
Fortunately, data were obtained by Mr. Price and fromthe records of the Department of Public Service, State ofWashington, on the performance of several thousand metersover long periods of time. An examination of these datashowed that the drift in calibration of the great majority ofthese meters had been very slight and that the number driftingfast was a b o u t offset by an equal n u m b e r which became slow.
It was therefore decided, without dissenting vote in eitherthe subcommittee or the main committee, that the intervalbetween tests of a-c meters rated at I2 kilovolt amperes andless could be extended to 8 years without danger of doingan injustice to e i the r the power companies or the i r customers.This revision was approved November 5, I942, as an AmericanWar Standard. The official designation is CI2 WS-I942.Copies of the revised section of the Code can be obtainedfrom the American Standards Association, 29 West 39thStreet, New York, N. Y.
E L E C T R O D E H O L D E R FOR S P E C T R O G R A P H I C A N A L Y S I S .
The spectrographic analysis of metals, refractories, ando t h e r materials has replaced the o lde r chemical methods inmany cases, particularly in control or inspection testing.The advantages of the newer method are higher sensitivityof detection of metallic elements, improved precision, andgreater speed. To realize the full potentialities of the spectro-graphic method, attention has been given to improving boththe procedures and the design of equipment. One of theoperations in this method, which not only involves time-consuming manipulation but also some danger to the operator,is the excitation of electrode samples. This operation in-volves volatilization of metallic vapors into the electric arcor the electric spark with potentials which may be as high as40,000 volts. An electrode holder, designed by Bourdon F.Scribner and Charles H. Corliss and bui l t in the Bureau's