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A steel cylinder is capped at either end by two conical steel caps. One end has an additional steel cap affixed with a curved metal strip. The other end (the “top”) has a long spindle emerging from the centre, with a metal tray on the end. The entire set is in a wooden box. The box is filled with wool as a packing material.

Accession Number:

Alternative Name: Nicholson Hydrometer

Primary Materials: stainless steel, wood


Old inventory number = “phy401”. The wooden box is labeled on the top “Nicholson Hydrometer”, “University of Toronto Department of Physics”. On the side of the box is labeled “Physical Laboratory, Nicholson Hydrometer, 1928”. Also on the top is a label reading “-ith Care” that is covered partially by the other label. Also reads “-Lennan” and “-nur Ave.” On the side of the box is written in pink pencil is “steel balls”. On the top is written something else in pink pencil that is obscured by the other label.

Dimensions (cm):

Instrument: Length = 20.5, Diameter = 3; Box length: 22.5, width = 7.5, height = 7


Measuring specific gravity of a liquid relative to water.


Associated Instruments:


Date of Manufacture: 1920s


University of Toronto, Physics Department

Additional Information and References:

Historical Notes: