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Digital Millisecond Timer


A slate-blue metal timer with a raised black carrying handle on top. On the front, there is a “Manual Start” switch, a display for numbers marked “milliseconds” with stickers “TI” next to it, a small black setting switch marked “x1, x10, x100”, a red light, and a white switch marked “Power/Off”. On the back, there is a “Fuse” knob, and two columns of eight screws (possibly electrical nodes) vertically labelled “NO, C, NC, NO, C, NC”. The back also has a plug labelled “Remote”, a dial marked “Logic”, and an electrical cord marked “115V, 50/60 Hz, AC only”.

Accession Number: 2011.psy.26

Alternative Name:

Primary Materials: metal, plastic


On the front: “Gerbrands “300” Series Digital Millisecond Timer”. There is a manufacturer’s label on the back: “Ralph Gerbrands Company, 8 Beck Rd, Arlington, MA, USA; Model 300-1L; Serial 27702” and an orange Ontario Hydro electrical approval label. There is a U of T label on the top: “Department of Psychology Research Equipment 1849TE77, University of Toronto”.

Dimensions (cm): Height = 13, Width = 25, Length = 28

Function: digital millisecond timer


excellent; slight scratches on the front

Associated Instruments:


Ralph Gerbrands Company, 8 Beck Rd, Arlington, MA, USA

Date of Manufacture: 1970s


Department of Psychology, University of Toronto. Removed from Psych storage October 2011

Additional Information and References:

Historical Notes:

Ralph Gerbrands was born in 1905. Gerbrands was employed by Edwin G. Boring in September 1929 to make experimental equipment in the Harvard University shop. Gerbrands later went into business for himself, founding a company that became a major supplier of experimental psychology equipment, best known for its operant conditioning equipment. Gerbrands began building apparatus for psychological experiments in 1929, when he was hired for that Department of Psychology at Harvard. In 1930, he produced the first piece of Gerbrands equipment for commercial sale-a memory drum.
– Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behaviour, 1987, 48, 513-514, No. 3. Kay Dinsmoor