Pulse glass filled with magenta liquid, Europe, 1770-1900

1770-1900 in Europe

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Pulsometer, glass, with content. Full view, side view, white background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Pulsometer, glass, with content

Invented by Benjamin Franklin (1706-90), an American politician and natural philosopher in 1768, this object is known as a pulse glass. The magenta coloured liquid is sealed in the glass, creating a vacuum. When one of the glass balls is held in a person's hand, the liquid boils. Franklin viewed his invention as an intellectual curiosity.

Related people


Clinical Diagnosis
Object Number:
glass and liquid
pulse glass
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • medical demonstration equipment

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