Rototherm Joseph Lucas Space Age Desktop Thermometer

A rare and very distinct, British desktop thermometer, from the 1950s or 1960s in a round, clear plastic case. Second-hand.

What's for sale?

This is a rare, very distinct desktop thermometer, from the 1950s or 1960s in a round, clear plastic case. The design has a stylish 'Space Age' look, and would have looked at home in a car dashboard as a speedometer.

It was made by Joseph Lucas Ltd, one of the world's largest manufacturers of car parts. The thermometer inside is by Rototherm, one of the leading makers of industrial thermometers and inventors of the bimetallic thermometer.

The body is silver-coloured and is encased in clear plastic outer case, probably acrylic, which incorporates the two feet.

The face is a dark, plum colour, with numerals in white. A red needle indicates the temperature against a notched, chrome-effect band around the outside. At the centre is a mirrored, chrome-effect boss, surrounded by concentric circles and "DEGREES FAHRENHEIT" printed underneath in red. All very reminiscent of a speedometer.

It seems accurate when compared with a digital thermometer, but can be adjusted by removing the back of the case and then manually twisting the central casing containing the gauge.

It was made sometime between 1951 and 1974, which was the period during which Lucas went under the name Joseph Lucas (Industries) Limited. This is the only example we've come across.

What condition is it in?

  • Second-hand
  • In very good condition
  • There are no cracks or chips in the plastic
  • There are very faint scratches on the surface
  • There is paint loss on the back cover
  • One of the screw heads is slightly chewed but they can all be screwed in and out easily
  • It has a fairly accurate temperature reading

What are the measurements?

  • 11cm high
  • 10.5cm in diameter
  • 375 grams

If you have questions or would like more detailed pictures, just send us an email to

Joseph Lucas Ltd
Late 20th century (1950-1999)
Stock ID:
1 in stock

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