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Smiths or Lucas Gauge?


Jedi Knight
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That's what mine has. Sounds normal to me!


All the better. The Classic Smiths gauges are the most attractive of all on LBCs, IMHO. I love the look.


Andrew Mace said:
I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but at some point while the cars were current (no pun intended), Lucas came to own Smiths/Jaeger.

Andy, are you sure about that? I'm not questioning it, I just haven't heard that bit before.

I cannot site the reference document I once located on the history of Smiths so please forgive the abridged version below.

Smiths started as a watch/clock company in the U.K. In the early days of automobiles they allied themselves with Jaeger (on the mainland). After a series of joint developments, the British and U.K. versions of Jaeger became very different and their joint operations ended. Post-war British gauges indicated this by being marked "British Jaeger" to distinguish them from those on the continent.

In the 1920s or so, the automotive supply market was compartmentalized. Through a gentleman's agreement, Lucas took on the manufacture of MOST electrical components while Smiths took on gauges and instrumentation. For some reason two glaring examples violate this. Smiths made blower motors for ventilation and as noted above, Lucas made ammeters. I'm sure there must be other exceptions. Regardless, that's why up to a certain point the ammeters were Lucas and not Smiths.

At least one division of Smiths does exist today but if I remember, they focus on industrial connectors. Lucas also still exists but again, IIRC they are involved with industrial controls. Caerbont took over Smiths instrument business. I'm not sure if Lucas ever took over Smiths instruments. If others know about this please let me know. It's a part of history I'd like to know about and file for future reference.
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