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We left off with the Bureau facing three simultaneous investigations into its functions and budget. All three investigations resulted in the conclusion that it was necessary for the Bureau to continue performing essential testing whether specifically noted in its organic act or not. The investigations also pointed out that the Bureau had been hit disproportionately hard by funding cuts and staff reductions during the Depression, although they differed in their recommendations of how the Bureau should move forward. While no official change was made to formalize Bureau authority to perform testing deemed by some to be outside its scope, tacit approval was given by the new appropriations of 1935, which replaced 29 appropriations items with one act divided into four general funds, one of which included a provision for the Bureau’s continued involvement with the ASA and work on standards for commerce.

 

As the Depression dragged on through the 1930s, Dr. Briggs repeatedly contested that new inventions would stimulate industry, the consumer and the economy. One stimulus strategy employed at the time was the idea of transforming the nation from a production-based economy to a consumption-based economy, or ushering in “consumerism.” The National Recovery Administration, set up by the Roosevelt administration in 1933, would be advised by an Industrial Board, a Labor Advisory Board and a Consumers’ Advisory Board to ensure maximum benefit to all parties from new legislation concerning issues like minimum wage, work hours and price regulation to the end of stimulation consumption.

 

The task of the Consumers’ Advisory Board was to promote use of specifications and labeling in consumer products through NRA code, but some believe agencies like the ASA and the Bureau of Standards incapable of making such recommendations because of their perceived propensity to favor industry above the consumer. Despite this concern, there were no reasonable grounds for setting up an independent laboratory for the task, so over the NRA’s 2-year life, the Bureau reviewed almost 500 codes for fair competition involving consumer standards.

 

Over the course of the late 1920’s to late 1930’s a number of agencies, publications and laboratories appeared dedicated to consumer education, but they lacked the organization to form a unified national force. The Bureau, for its part, had difficulties working with these consumer groups because their organic act legally oriented their efforts to industry. Nevertheless, the Bureau recognized the benefit of performing consumer testing within a single institution under the Federal Government but thought the creation of a consumer testing agency unlikely as Congressional funding would probably not be approved. The Bureau cooperated with the consumer movement by advising consumer laboratories on their test instruments and equipment, developing new testing equipment and issuing publications geared toward the individual consumer. One such publication was entitled “Services of the National Bureau of Standards to the Consumer,” which explained how the Bureau’s efforts benefitted the individual.

 

Even though it was a challenging period, the Depression created lulls in committee assignments to the Bureau and travel, as well as drop in supervisory duties which created more time for actual research. The Bureau was forced to make staffing cuts and could not hire qualified scientists, but their funding did provide for “clerks” and “draftsmen.” It was also during this time that Dr. Brigg won his battle to add the word “National” back to the Bureau’s name after 30 years of being the “Bureau of Standards.”

 

**The information presented here is drawn from “Measures For Progress: A History of The National Bureau of Standards” (Rexmond C. Cochrane)

 

As always, if you have any questions related to this material, our support staff at Cooper Instruments is available to help. Contact them by calling (800) 344-3921 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

COOPER INSTRUMENTS & SYSTEMS ANNOUNCES UPDATES TO PRODUCT LINE

 

January 6, 2015

Warrenton, VA

 

Cooper Instruments & Systems announced on Tuesday that they have expanded and updated their product line.

 

The ACX-1 Aircraft Cable Tension Meter replaces the ACX, the TX-1 and LX-1 Digital Tension Meters have replaced the TX and LX, and the STX-1 Digital Strap Tension Meter takes the place of the STX. All of the new products feature updated technology and software versus their predecessors. Other improvements include color screens, instead of black and white, and the new ability to define an acceptable tension range.

 

Cooper has also updated their WTM 502 Wire Tension Meter. New features include: backlight, data collection, up to 20 wire rope calibrations and enhanced display interface.

 

Cooper Instruments has also added the LR-19 Series Linear Position Sensors and LR-27 Series Linear Induction Sensors to their offerings from Alliance Sensors Group.

 

Cooper Instruments & Systems is a worldwide leading supplier of force and pressure measurement instrumentation, sensor systems and custom calibration services. Since opening for business in 1988, their products and systems have been used extensively around the globe.

 

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For more information about Cooper Instruments & Systems, please contact Rex Cooper at (800) 344-3921 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

As always, if you have any questions related to this material, our support staff at Cooper Instruments is available to help. Contact them by calling (800) 344-3921 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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Thursday, 11 December 2014 00:00

Cooper Instruments Works with Many Industries

Cooper Instruments & Systems is a leading supplier of force and pressure instrumentation. Our products and applications are used in a wide-range of industries, including automotive and healthcare.

 

Cooper Instruments & Systems is one of the world’s leading suppliers of force and pressure instrumentation, sensor systems, and calibration services. We offer an impressive selection of torque cells, load cells, force and pressure sensors, pressure transducers, digital instrumentation, custom test stands, and more. Because of our extensive product offerings, Cooper Instruments is able to serve a number of different industries and sectors. Some of the different industries in which our products are used include automotive, energy, medical, and materials testing and handling.

 

The company’s involvement in the automotive industry includes work with Ford, Toyota, Honda, and GM. We provide these companies, among others, with applications like spring testing, engine dynamometer, assembly machines, gas tank assembly, and crash testing.

 

Cooper Instruments works closely with the energy industry to provide applications such as pump-off control, wire line tension control, calibration systems, and coil tubing.

 

We also offer a number of different load cells for various medical applications throughout the world. Examples of typical medical applications include patient weighing, rehabilitation equipment, bite force testing, and robotic surgical systems.

 

In the materials testing and handling industry, Cooper Instruments provides load cells, pressure sensors, torque sensors, force gauges, and test stands. They are used for applications like concrete testing, rubber sample testing, cable tension testing, and more.

 

Cooper Instruments & Systems has received positive feedback from virtually every industry we have been involved with. We have been able to build healthy relationships with all of the industries above and look forward to our involvement with other sectors in the near future.

 

About Cooper Instruments & Systems

Since 1988, Cooper Instruments & Systems has been a worldwide leading supplier of force and pressure instrumentation, sensor systems and custom calibration services. Cooper Instruments & Systems offers equipment such as load cells, torque cells, force and pressure sensors, torque gages, pressure transducers, pressure gages, digital instrumentation, hand-helds, test stands, custom test stands, and more. For more information, please visit CooperInstruments.com.

As the 1920s came to a close, the tension between the Bureau and the American Standards Association (ASA) continued, with both organizations claiming that the other was impeding their ability to effectively function. The ASA wasn’t the only source of animosity towards the Bureau. During the 1920s, newspapers including the Washington Post pointed to the Bureau as a prime example of wasteful government spending. From time to time, action was taken to limit Bureau authority (as in the case where the Bureau was informed that it was not to make optical glass for the Navy and would receive no further funding to do so), but the Bureau consistently proved the necessity of each project that came under fire (in the Navy example, when the Bureau proved that no other source was available to produce optical glass to meet Navy standards, the funding that was to be withheld was release and operations resumed).

 

Still another area of attack which developed during the 1920s-30s was the line of argument that the Bureau, while funded with taxpayer dollars, principally benefitted the government and that results of Bureau investigations should be made public so as to benefit the consumer directly. Of course, the reason that was not done was to protect manufacturers from commercial injustice, so the Bureau faced a double-edged sword on that point. Critics of the Bureau found plenty of other points to contend as well, including the system of using research associates employed by industry and not by the Bureau itself and argument that the Bureau directly competed with private research organizations.

 

In response to this series of criticisms, the Bureau itself petitioned the Department of Justice for a review of its organic act and subsequent congressional acts to determine if, in fact, the Bureau was conducting research beyond its limitations. The DoJ found no impropriety on the Bureau’s part. Later, Congress conducted a review of government interference in industry. Here, too, the Bureau was found to be least a fault among government agencies engaged in industry regulation. Actually, the report indicated that without government intervention during WWI, industry would not, on its own, have been able to meet the production demands of the time, but did conclude (without mentioning the Bureau of Standards by name) that perhaps funding limitations would be prudent.

 

Following the stock market crash of 1929 and the absorption into the government fold of many utilities and public works, the Bureau operated fairly normally. In fact, there was no formal acknowledgment of the Depression from the Bureau until a note of “reduced industrial activities” appeared in 1931, with an indication that the Bureau was taking measures to operate economically. Nevertheless, Dr. Burgess’ annual report of 1931 included the largest number of projects ever, 525. Funding for the Bureau had increased in 1931 also, allowing for salary increases, new laboratories and radio stations and land to expand Bureau facilities. Bureau administration continued to justify its large staff and fiscal requirements by vowing to focus its efforts on those projects that would help lift the country’s economy and relieve unemployment.

 

1932 told a dramatically different story. Funding was cut by 20%, but Dr. Burgess died before seeing the effects of the Depression on his agency. His successor, following much debate on the merits of promoting from within versus hiring an outsider, was Dr. Lyman Briggs, formerly assistant director for research and testing. Briggs was known for his calm demeanor and even temper, which he would need during the Depression and subsequent war years. A passionate baseball fan, one of Briggs last experiments in his life, conducted after he left directorship of the Bureau, was to scientifically test the degree to which a baseball could be made to curve in the 60 feet from pitcher to batter. Unfortunately, his years as Director were not as much fun as that experiment.

 

During the Depression years, his chief objective was to keep as much of his staff as possible and to convince Congress and the Roosevelt administration of the Bureau’s need to fund projects that could not directly be tied to alleviating the Depression. Despite proposals to eliminate the Bureau altogether, salary cut after salary cut, and the threat of dispersal when Roosevelt endeavored to reorganize government departments, the Bureau lived on through investigations by its own Visiting Committee, the Business Advisory and Planning Council and the President’s Science Advisory Board.

 

**The information presented here is drawn from “Measures For Progress: A History of The National Bureau of Standards” (Rexmond C. Cochrane)

 

As always, if you have any questions related to this material, our support staff at Cooper Instruments is available to help. Contact them by calling (800) 344-3921 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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Tuesday, 04 November 2014 00:00

Pressure Transducers and Traffic Lights

A Look at the Use of Pressure Transducers with Traffic Lights

 

If the term pressure transducer seems foreign, you’ll be quite surprised to learn you probably interact with them on a daily basis. Pressure transducers play a major role in the functioning of many different technologies, including traffic lights.

 

How Traffic Lights Function

 

Contrary to popular belief, most traffic lights do not work on a simple timer. Most use in-roadway sensors or pressure transducers to calculate how many vehicles are at a particular intersection. This is how it works: Looped wires are placed beneath the pavement of an intersection, and when a car passes over it (or rests on it) it disrupts the magnetic field. The disruption is sent to a control box where a computer analyzes the signal. When the pressure transducer signals that there are multiple vehicles at an intersection, the computer chooses to change the light. There are dozens of other factors that affect the equation, but this is a simplified version for understanding how pressure transducers work with traffic lights.

 

Pressure Transducers

 

At Cooper Instruments & Systems, we sell a number of different pressure transducers which can convert a liquid or gas media into an electrical signal. We offer a number of different styles, including the PSG 110, PTG 230, and PTG 400.

  • PSG 110. This pressure transducer is designed to measure pressure ranges from 15 psi to 20,000 psi. It is preferred for its high frequency, flush diaphragm, and small size.
  • PTG 230. This general purpose transducer ranges from 0.5 to 60,000 PSIG. It has a number of different uses and features optional amplified output.
  • PTG-400. Made out of high quality stainless steel, this sensor is intended for measuring gases and liquids. Its high-strength construction allows it to work under difficult circumstances.

Be sure to check out all of our pressure transducers in our catalog.

 

As always, if you have any questions related to this material, our support staff at Cooper Instruments is available to help. Contact them by calling (800) 344-3921 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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In addition to the other industries exploding at the time, radio saw huge development in the 1920s. With the end of the patent wars between major manufacturers, radio broadcasting began. Reaching an estimated 7,000 privately owned radio sets in 1921, radio grew during the decade to reach 10 million commercially-produced and privately-owned sets by 1928. The Bureau, for its part, produced circulars instructing consumers on how to build their own radios with different instructions depending on the desired range of reception. The rapid growth of the industry soon had the Bureau calling for standardization of equipment and service.

 

With new radio stations popping up across the country, the government eventually found it necessary to regulate the airwaves. Technical advisors from the Bureau were present at all early radio conferences with Bureau researchers Dr. J. Howard Dellinger and Dr. Charles B. Jolliffe eventually becoming the first and second chief engineers of the Federal Radio Commission.

 

Of the early obstacles to commercial radio, the Bureau was most concerned with improving reception for the listener by devising ways in which the stations could use more precise waves to reduce interference from irregular wave widths. The Bureau developed a variety of new instruments and tools (wavemeters, wavemeter scales, etc.) to aid stations and government regulators in making sure stations stayed on their assigned frequency. Also among Bureau responsibilities was the testing of the frequency standards for broadcasting stations adopted by the FRC in 1927. Later investigations by the Bureau, in cooperation with the radio industry and academia identified that fading could be attributed to irregular absorption of radio waves in the ionosphere. Weather was found not to be a factor, but day and night produced consistent variations in reception. This finding lead to research into shortwave transmission, which was less susceptible to interference.

 

Amidst all the work on commercial radio, radio compasses were also improved for the Navy and other ships. High frequency radiotelephones became the preferred navigational tool for the Coast Guard and the Bureau of Navigation. Useful as the radio compass was, it was deemed inadequate for passenger flights, leading to the development in 1929 of the first visual-type radiobeacon system, which allowed the pilot to know his aircraft’s approximate location at all times. The following year, a system was developed to allow for blind flying and blind landing where the pilot’s only frame of reference for his position came from indicators on his instrument panel showing his position as determined by signals from directional beacons. Then, in 1933, a system was developed to allow nongovernment craft lacking the equipment to use the beacon system to navigate based on the radio waves of broadcasting stations.

 

With industrial growth and standardization efforts in the 1920s, the Bureau became much more visible to the American public, with one result being that the Bureau was flooded with mail and requests ranging from the legitimate to the insane (such as a request for a pamphlet on what the average American should be or for a standard for what well-dressed person should wear and even advice on protection against radioactive dictagraphs that controlled people hypnotically). One of the most numerous requests was for the invention of a device to locate buried treasure. The Bureau created a form letter advising people to just dig by way of response to those requests.

 

The Bureau’s increased visibility also brought increased criticism. Opponents to the standardization crusade questioned what, if any, was the benefit to the general homeowner. The cost savings to industry were clear, but at the level of the individual consumer, such savings were not apparent. Part of the disconnect was that the Bureau did not explicitly distinguish between the “organized consumer” like the government or trade associations and the individual consumer, despite its genuine concern for the individual consumer and insistence that all of its research benefited the consumer by improving the quality of products offered to him.

 

So, while industry resent the government’s oversight into their products and practices by means of the Bureau and while consumers cried for still more oversight, the Great Depression hit, reducing Bureau resources that left both sides feeling even more discontent.

 

Among those to voice concerns about where the Bureau’s authority began or ended was the AESC (American Engineering Standards Committee) which had been created under the eye of the Bureau to deal specifically with industry standardization. When the Bureau then established a “trade standards division” in 1927 to unify the efforts of the Bureau and the AESC, the AESC bristled. Under the direction of a former Bureau member, the AESC became the American Standards Association (ASA) and formally requested that the Bureau cease commercial standardization activities. A rift between the two organizations ensued.

 

**The information presented here is drawn from “Measures For Progress: A History of The National Bureau of Standards” (Rexmond C. Cochrane)

 

As always, if you have any questions related to this material, our support staff at Cooper Instruments is available to help. Contact them by calling (800) 344-3921 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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