Pedometer signed 'PVP', 1880-1920


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Pedometer (or ?passometer?), made by unknown maker ?PVP?, late 19th / early 20th century.
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Pedometer (or ‘passometer’), made by unknown maker ‘PVP’, late 19th / early 20th century.

This mechanical pedometer counts its wearer’s paces by means of a weighted lever and a ratchet mechanism. Up to 100 paces are registered on the main dial, and 1000 and 25000 on the two smaller dials respectively. Sometimes these step-counting devices are referred to as ‘passometers’, as opposed to ‘pedometers’ which incorporate additional gearing that converts the counts into a measure of distance (e.g. yards or miles), although the use of terminology is not consistent.

This style of mechanism using a weighted lever was patented by British maker William Payne in 1831. This pedometer’s lever is marked with the letters of an unknown maker ‘PVP’. The mechanism is consistent with its being Swiss or possibly British; it is different in design from French, German and American examples.


Object Number:
enamel and silver gilt

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