Menu Close

Horizontal Kymograph (Charles Verdin)


The instrument consists of a brass drum that is horizontally mounted between an anterior axle post and a posterior mechanical drive box. A spinning mechanical regulator protrudes from the top of the drive box. The drum is mounted on metal base with three levelling screws.

Accession Number: 2012.psy.101

Alternative Name:

Primary Materials: Brass, metal


Old catalogue number = “Psy 62”. Inscribed upon the instrument: “Charles Verdin, Constructeur, 7 Rue Linne a Paris, 1892, 3040”.

Dimensions (cm): Height = 33, Width = 21, Length = 59


A kymograph is a clock-driven drum that rotates at a very precise rate in order to provide a continuous surface for recording experimental data. The revolving drum would have been wrapped with smoked paper which was marked by a signal marker. A signal from a timekeeping device would also have been recorded alongside the experimental data in order to provide a time reference.


Excellent: some scratching, missing components and residue.

Associated Instruments:

Manufacturer: Charles Verdin, Paris

Date of Manufacture: 1892


Department of Psychology, University of Toronto

Additional Information and References:

Shaw, M. A. And Wrinch, F. S. (1900) “A Contribution to the Psychology of Time”, University of Toronto Studies, Psychological Series, 105-153.

Titchener, E. B. (1918). Experimental Psychology, a Manual of Laboratory Practice: Volume I, Quantitative Experiments, Part II. Instructor’s Manual. New York: MacMillan, Vol. 1, pp. 172-176.

Historical Notes:

This kymograph is shown in an 1900 experimental account from Shaw and Wrinch, where it was used to study time perception by measuring a subject’s ability to reproduce the time interval of a signal, after different lengths of time.