Pulse glass in wooden case

Made:
1845-1855 in England
maker:
Unknown

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Pulse glass, with grey powder, in wooden case, owned by Sir George Buchanan, English, 19th century

This sand glass looks like an old-fashioned egg timer. British epidemiologist and civil servant Sir George Buchanan (1831-1895) once owned it. He was once head of the Public Health Department in England. He used it as an aid when timing a patient’s pulse. It was filled with a grey powder. The sand glass was designed to run for exactly one minute.

Details

Category:
Clinical Diagnosis
Object Number:
A606059
Materials:
complete, glass, mahogany (wood), powder and varnish
Measurements:
overall - pulse glass: 10 mm x 85 mm x 10 mm, .016 kg
overall (case closed): 105 mm 18 mm, .026 kg
overall - total weight: .042 kg
type:
sand-glass
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • measuring device - instrument
  • timepiece
credit:
Buchanan