Galton whistle

1876-1920 in Europe

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Galton's whistle in crude wooden storage case which also contains 2 glass panels, one marked 'Sifflet de Galton' and a
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London.

Galton's whistle

A Galton whistle was used in early physiological laboratories to test the hearing ability of different people. It can produce high pitched sounds at the limit of human hearing. The whistle is named after Francis Galton (1822-1911), who invented it in 1876. Galton was an explorer, meteorologist, statistician, and psychologist and was the first person to apply statistical methods to the study of human differences. He was also a pioneer in the field of eugenics, coining the term itself and the phrase "nature versus nurture”.

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Science Museum: Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

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Related people


Psychology, Psychiatry & Anthropometry
Object Number:
galton whistle
Royal Holloway & Bedford New College

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