d'Arsonval electric chronometer, Paris, France, 1902

1902 in Paris
Charles Verdin

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d'Arsonval electric chronometer, for measuring reflex reaction time, by Charles Verdin, Paris, 1902

This chronometer has been adapted to record the response time of a nerve to a stimulus. The patient is touched with the ball-topped metal rod, which has been charged by an electromagnet. Once they have felt the current, they press down on the tweezers-like rod in their hand. This cuts the current and holds the needle on the dial in place so a reading in hundredths of a second can be taken.

This chronometer was invented by Jacques-Arsène d'Arsonval (1851-1940), a biophysicist. His chronometer could determine the extent and location of damage to the nervous system, as injured nerves took longer to transmit stimuli.


Laboratory Medicine
Object Number:
box, mahogany and instrument, brass
chronograph - timer
  • furnishing and equipment
  • measuring device - instrument
  • timepiece
Delehar, P.

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