Robert Dudgeon’s sphygmograph

1876 in London

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Sphygmograph which belonged to Dudgeon
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Sphygmograph which belonged to Dudgeon, by J. Ganter, 19 Crawford Street, London, England, 1876.

Blood pressure is measured and recorded using a sphygmograph. It is strapped to the wrist. The pulse beat is transmitted to a lever which records it on smoked paper. The first efficient sphygmograph was designed by Étienne-Jules Marey (1830-1904) in 1863. This example belonged to Dr Robert Ellis Dudgeon (1820-1904). He was a prominent figure in homeopathy. Dudgeon also made his own changes to Marey’s original design. It was made by instrument maker J. Gauter in 1876. In the late 1800s, physiology teachers used sphygmographs to visually demonstrate blood pressure. Instruments such as this were also valuable diagnostic aids. They were the predecessor of the modern arm cuffs physicians now use to measure blood pressure.

On display

Science Museum: Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

If you are visiting to see this object, please contact us in advance to make sure that it will be on display.

Related people


Clinical Diagnosis
Object Number:
brass (copper, zinc alloy), complete, plastic (unidentified), steel (metal) and textile
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • medical instrument
Dudgeon, G.

Cite this page


We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.

Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero

Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data


Download catalogue entry as json

View manifest in IIIF viewer

Add to Animal Crossing Art Generator

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.