GE Luckiesh-Taylor Brightness Meter

A vintage General Electric Brightness meter with leather case and plug-in sensor. Very good condition.

This meter has a molded hard plastic case with a removable rear cover that allows access to the D-Cell battery holders.  The battery terminals are in good condition with light to moderate signs of tarnish on the terminals.  

There is one input transducer with the meter, and it attaches to a couple of small (1/8") jacks on the side panel.  

Along the top are 4 small flat knobs marked 1/100, 1/10, 10, 100.  These are attenuators that operate small filters on flags which can be positioned in or out of the light path.   

Here's what we've found regarding it's inventor, Matthew Luckiesh:  

Matthew Luckiesh DSc, DE, (September 14, 1883 Maquoketa, Iowa – November 2, 1967 Shaker Heights, Ohio) was a physicist and, as the Director of General Electric's Lighting Research Laboratory at its Nela Park National Lamps Works facility in East Cleveland, Ohio, he pursued research on light and vision.[1] In his day, he was known as the "Father of the Science of Seeing."[1] Luckiesh developed several theories on color and its physiological effect on people. He was also interested in determining the conditions under which optimal visibility was achieved, and in examining the relationship between light and seeing, in order to design better types of lamps. During World War I he studied camouflage, and later invented artificial sunlight and germicidal lamps. Luckiesh produced eleven U.S. patents, 28 books and about 860 scientific and technical articles, published between 1911 and 1960.


Among the lamps attributed to Luckiesh was the MAZDA Flametint Lamp, which was designed to create mood and to resemble the color of licking flames, rather than to produce adequate light for serious seeing. In 1927 about 25-35% of all lamps sold were of that design, and in 1929 sales totaled about 13 million. Another of his lamps, referred to as the MAZDA Daylight Lamp, had coiled tungsten filaments and transparent blue glass. The lamp approximated average daylight colors and was used in department stores and settings where it was important to determine accurate discrimination of the colors of objects.


Luckiesh wrote numerous books and articles on light and other aspects of physics, including Color and Colors, in 1938. In 1940, Luckiesh and Frank Moss compared 5th and 6th grade students in well-lit classrooms to students in regular (poorly lit) classrooms, and found significant increases in the scores on the New Stanford Achievement Test were demonstrated by the students in the well-lit classrooms.[1] However, it is entirely likely that the students in the poorly lit classrooms were of lower socioeconomic status and the schools were poorly funded. This may account for the discrepancy, rather than the difference in lighting conditions.