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75th Anniversary - Smith Meter PD Meter

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PD Meter Patent   patent 2014 PD Meter
Left to Right: the original 1940 PD meter patent with 
our most recent 2014 patent, the Genesis PD meter

In 1940 when Reuben Stanley Smith's patent for a “fluid flow mechanism” (now known as the rotary sliding vane positive displacement meter) was awarded, he could not have imagined he had designed the prototype for one of the most famous meters ever produced in the industry for custody transfer of crude oils and refined fuels.

Since then, FMC Technologies’ Smith Meter® PD Meter has stood the test of time, developing the original design concept to meet changing industry needs in all global markets, and continuing the legacy with even newer patents for revolutionary enhancements as recently as 2014. For 75 years, the PD Meter has represented excellence in longevity, reliability and accuracy. It is the reason FMC Technologies’ Smith Meter is and will continue to be the industry standard and most trusted name in measurement.

Reuben Stanley Smith was born in 1882 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After his father, Alonzo Smith succeeded in inventing and manufacturing instructive toys, Reuben had a strong interest in engineering and would go on to file 61 patents between 1909 and 1945. In 1909, Reuben began his career in Milwaukee at the A.O. Smith Corporation and worked for his uncle Arthur. While working for the company, he developed several patents including ones for electric heated steering wheels, an electric hammer and automobile frames. In the early 1920s, Reuben left the A.O. Smith Corporation after realizing no further projects were in the horizon and moved to Los Angeles, California, where his wife was from, and where the majority of his family resided. 

By 1931, Reuben started his first company, the Smith Meter Company. There he developed a four-piston meter for gasoline transfer that would make his name in the meter world. Reuben referred to this meter as the "Badger Big Four" and stated it had four distinct advantages that other meters during this time did not have. It utilized a cam to eliminate meter "sticking," the valves in the meter were leak-tight, the pistons were balanced and there was no variation in the piston stroke. Following this design he came up with a new meter; however, with limited funds he looked to his cousin, L.R. Smith, President of A.O. Smith Corporation, to loan him the money necessary to research and develop the new meter design. In 1934, Reuben went on to develop a patent (2,207182) for a fluid flow mechanism (PD meter). This would become the foundation for one of the most famous meters for custody of refined fuels, from then on known to the industry as the "Smith Meter." 

R.S. Smith