So you would put coins in this to pay for your electric?
Yep, these meters were once fairly common in rented accommodation which had a quick turnaround of tenants, or where a person was not considered creditworthy enough to have a normal quarterly payment account, and similar situations. These days, you find the PoCo using a card meter -- Same principle of prepayment, but the person buys electricity cards from various local agents (grocery store, newspaper shop, etc.) and inserting the card adds the appropriate amount to the "units remaining." The modern card meters are all LCD readouts, of course.
Some of these old coin meters were in private ownership, typically where a landlord paid the whole electricity bill for a block (and thus had a single PoCo-owned meter for his bill) but wanted his tenants to pay for power individually.
Did you take it of a demolition job?
I actually removed this from what used to be a holiday cottage. It's now just used as a vacation home by the owners (with normal PoCo credit meter at the service entrance), and it seems that they had just been putting the same coin through the meter for several years. (It takes the original size 50-pence coin; we changed to a smaller one a few years ago.)
I got asked to look at it (via a neighbor) when they got worried that it was getting warm on load. If you look closely in one of the photos you might be able to see a little discoloration on the conductor running from the switch contacts from the heat. I haven't actually gotten right inside yet to see if it's the contacts themselves worn or just a loose connection.
Looking very closly at the terminal cover, I take it that to use this meter in "Coin operated" mode, you would need to bring the load connection to the coin mechanism contacts in pic# 9? Or is there a lever or internal jumper set-up?
The whole combination is designed to be used as a pre-payment coin meter only. However, the standard meter section on the left is identical to that used by the equivalent Smith credit meter, so the terminal cover (which is also identical) has both credit and prepay diagrams shown.
I would love to get a hold of one of these here to play around with.
It's up for grabs for the cost of the postage, but that would probably be quite expensive overseas due to the weight!
What is the meters rating?
240 volts, 40 amps max.