Historical Equipment Library
These items are no longer used in physiological research.
C.F. Palmer (London) AC Voltmeter
(Donated by Knut Schmidt-Nielsen, Duke University)
Used to weigh small amounts of chemicals to as little as 0.1 mg. (ca. early 1900s)
Cambridge Drop Camera
Used by Sir John Eccles in the 1930s and 1940s to study nerve conduction. Eccles received the Nobel Prize in 1963 for his work. The camera was a Centennial present from the Physiological Society of New Zealand, presented by Anthony D. Macknight, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Manufactured by D. Schackman and Sons, England. Used to produce a permanent recording of oscilliscope displays, usually of membrane action potentials, contractility traces, and channel currents. (Donated by Robert Hill)
Connects between battery and inductorium and was used to turn on stimulation.
C.F. Palmer Levin-Wyman Ergometer
Used to measure mechanical properties of muscle, specifically tension-length curves for stretches and releases at different constant speeds. (Donated by Robert Hill)
Bristle Tube Flowmeter
Used to measure blood flow. (ca. 1950s)
Einthoven Galvanometer(aka String Galvanometer)
Developed by Willem Einthoven (1860-1927), recipient of Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1924. A weak electric current is carried in a single filament suspended in a strong magnetic field, its deflection recorded with the aid of a beam of light reflected from an attached mirror. (Donated by Knut Schmidt-Nielsen, Duke University)
Leeds and Northrup WBM-2420-C Galvanometer
With a tri-volt doorbell transformer and light-sensitive photoelectric cell for determination of creatinine concentrations. (Donated by Robert Hill)
Electrical signals from heart caused the movement of a little mirror (like a tiny motor) in a magnetic field, causing deflection of a light beam, that like a lever arm, would be to "amplify" the deflection of the mirror. The tracing would be recorded on a moving photographic paper or film.
Stampfli-Type Sucrose Gap Apparatus
Made according to the papers of Berger and Barr. (Donated by Robert Hill)
Scholander 1/2 CC Gas Analyzer
Designed in the 1940s by P.F. Scholander, this was used for precise volumetric analysis of respiratory gases. Mechanical parts were made by Otto Hebel, Instrument Maker at Swarthmore College, when Laurence Irving and Scholander were there. Glass part was blown by Jim Graham at the University of Pennsylvania. Donated by Knut Schmidt-Nielsen, Duke University.
From the Harvard Apparatus Company. (Donated by A. Clifford Barger)
Induction Coil (Phipps and Bird, Inc., 1925)
Primary coil connected to ordinary galvanic battery. When switch closes to permit current to flow in primary coil, an impulse is generated in 2nd coil. As current continues flowing in the primary, nothing more happens in the secondary, until current in the primary is interrupted. A 2nd impulse is then generated in the secondary. 2 impulses in secondary are not identical & therefore designated as "make" & "break" impulses, respectively. (Donated by K. Schmidt-Nielsen, Duke University)
Inductorium on a Cherry Wood Base
Used to generate electrical pulses for stimulation of nerves and muscles. (ca. 1890-1920)
(Donated by Tomuo Hoskiko, Case Western Reserve University)
Smoke Drum Kymograph
Used for recording muscle contractions, blood pressure, heart volume, respiration, GI tract activity, etc. (ca. late 1800s - 1950s)
Bausch and Lomb Optical Company Microscope, 1876
Used by Warren P. Lombard, APS President 1919-1920, in his research.
Dubois Oscilliograph, 1929
(Donated by John R. Pappenheimer, Harvard Medical School)
Coleman Anoxia Photometer, 1944
Based on first oximeter designed by G.A. Millikan, J.R. Pappenheimer, A.J. Rawson, and J.E. Hervey. (Presented at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Physiological Society, 1941.)
Used during WWII in the Harvard Fatigue Lab to measure radiation content of heat loss through the Arctic Uniform when soldiers were exposed to an environment of -40 degrees F. The design of the instrument consists of 4 mirrors focusing on a thermopile. (Donated by G. Edgar Folk)
Radiometer - Radiant Energy
The device measured Radiant Energy (mainly infrared frequencies). It’s a stainless steel box with a black cone-shaped indentation that absorbed heat. Energy transferred as heat to fluid inside. Changes of temperature of fluid are measured, from which caloric exchange can be determined. (Used up until the 1950s.)
Jaque Kymograph Timer
Device thought to have been brought to Harvard University by physician/physiologist Henry P. Bowditch who was the dean of the Harvard Medical School from 1883 to 1893. (Donated by John R. Pappenheimer, Harvard Medical School.)
The instrument was probably brought to the Duke University Zoology Department in 1926 by F.G. Hall. (Donated by Knut Schmidt-Nielsen, Duke University)
Ludwig Stromur Valve
This device was used to measure blood flow circa 1900. (Donated by John R. Pappenheimer, Harvard Medical School)