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This object is a circular device comprised of an outer and inner container, with a detachable lid. The outer surface of the object is made of copper. The height of the calorimeter measures 20 cm, with a circumference of 40.7 cm.

The lid is made of copper, and consists of two holes and two brass screws. Through one of the two holes, a metal wire protrudes which encircles the base of the inner container. Placed at the bottom of the inner container is a heavy, circular metal disk with the markings “AL 391 GRS.” Attached to this disk with flexible metal wiring is a rectangular piece of wood, which appears to be charred and blackened in places due to heat damage.

This inner container is removable and reveals the outer container, which holds three small, circular disks, made of cork. The cork appears to be slightly decomposed, and there are a number of small holes which puncture the surface of each disk.

Accession Number:

Alternative Name:

Primary Materials:

Copper, brass, plastic, wood, cork, other metal


A note, taped onto the base of the instrument reads “not catalogued.” The metal disk within the instrument is marked with “AL 391 GRS.”

Dimensions (cm): Height=20, circumference= 40.7


This device is used to measure the heat developed during a mechanical, electrical, or chemical reaction. It is also used to calculate the heat capacity of materials.
It is possible this instrument was used in demonstrations in physics lectures at the University of Toronto, prior to its acquisition by UTSIC.


Fair. Overall, the condition of the instrument is fair, but there are obvious signs of damage. The copper is oxidized and tarnished, and there are various scratches and staining upon the surface, as well as evident fingerprints. It also appears that areas at the top and bottom of the instrument have been re-soldered in order to repair possible breakages.

Associated Instruments: phy.189

Manufacturer: Unknown

Date of Manufacture: Unknown


This object was acquired from the University of Toronto Physics Department on May 27, 2013.

Additional Information and References:

The definition of calorimeter was retrieved from Encyclopaedia Britannica.
It appears that this instrument was manufactured in an industrial shop.

Historical Notes:


  • Donated to UTSIC