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Sellersville Museum collection on U.S. Gauge


Held at: Sellersville Museum [Contact Us]120 East Church Street, Sellersville, PA, 18960

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Sellersville Museum. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

U.S. Gauge was founded in Sellersville, Bucks County, Pennsylvania in 1904. A division of Ametek, Inc. since 1944, U.S. Gauge continues to produce gauges and testing devices to measure pressure, temperature, flow, and liquid level as of 2014.

Among other instruments, U.S. Gauge's product line has included gauges for fire extinguishers, welders, boilers, liquid levels, medical products, automobiles, and petrochemicals. Its products were ubiquitous in early automobiles, and U.S. Gauge expanded into the burgeoning aircraft market in the 1930s. It was an important wartime producer during both the First and Second World Wars, for both the military and general industrial markets. The government awarded the company an Army-Navy "E" for Excellence in 1944. One of its most important military contributions was an automatic parachute release, developed for the Air Force in 1950.

The original U.S. Gauge facility in Sellersville covered 6,000 square feet on a half acre of ground and had 14 employees. It grew to become the largest single employer in Upper Bucks County, peaking with around 1,500 employees. Ametek closed down U.S. Gauge's Sellersville facilities in the 1980s through the early 2000s. The former Ametek, U.S. Gauge Division Plant #2 facility on Clymer Avenue has been under scrutiny by the Environmental Protection Agency since 1974.


"'The Gauge' of Sellersville." Circa 1974. Clipping on display in Sellersville Museum. Viewed April 23, 2014.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Ametek, U.S. Gauge Division." EPA ID: PAD002342236. Updated June 2012. Accessed April 23, 2014.

This collection consists largely of newsletters and photographs; there are also some additional printed materials and an original payroll ledger. Issues of the "The Chatter Box" newsletter of the U.S. Gauge Social Club date from 1935 to 1941 and feature congratulatory messages for employees, social club meeting minutes, and information on other U.S. Gauge employee programs such as sports teams and an employee orchestra. The photographs (some originals and some copies) span most of the 20th century and depict facility interior and exteriors, and employees at work and social events. Other printed materials include programs from company events such as Christmas parties and the presentation of the Army-Navy "E" Award; catalogs for U.S. Gauge products; and employee manuals for machine operation. The weekly payroll ledger, which dates from 1905 to 1906, records employee names, occupation, hours worked by day, and pay rate.

Materials collected from U.S. Gauge employees and their relatives at various times

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.

In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Sellersville Museum directly for more information.

Sellersville Museum
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Sarah Leu through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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