Nautical Instruments & Tools
Stock No. 1920
Price = n/a
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Passenger Vessel Mechanical Counter - Click for the bigger picture

Passenger Vessel Mechanical Counter

When purchased we were told this box was used to count passengers on and off vessels to make sure the ship sailed with a full complement and with nobody left behind. Whilst purchased in Manchester we were told it originated from the seaport of Liverpool. The box is made from mahogany and of jointed construction and has a circular aperture cut in the front with a brass dial located behind a glass panel. The top of the instrument features a press down brass knob reminiscent of counter bells used to attract sales staff in shops in the 1950's. When depressed firmly the counter moves forward by one and a bell rings on each occasion. The maximum passenger count is a theoretical 9999. The brass counting mechanism is stamped 'Williamson' and 'Ashton-U-Lyne'. We researched this company and see they also made ticket printers for 'tramways, omnibuses, railways and steamboats'. The box originally had a lock fitted, accessed via the lid, but the lock is now missing. The internal mechanism can be removed and on the reverse are two knobs for zeroing the counter dials for future use. Whilst for sale as a marine collectable it is in full working order and we see no reason why it could not be used as originally intended although today modern electronic versions do the same job but without the style of ours. We would guesstimate this dates from the early 20th century. The case measures 6 3/4"x 3 3/4" (17cm x 9.50cm)