Vertical Kymograph


Accession Number: 2012.psy.85


A vertically mounted drum is turned at a constant rate by a mechanism regulated by a governor. The motor mechanism is mounted vertically on the heavy metal base behind the drum. The base has adjustable feet to level the instrument. Multiple gearing can adjust the overall speed of rotation.

A paper is fixed to the drum. This is probably not original.

Alternative Name:

Primary Materials: Brass, metal


Manufacturer’s label “E. Zimmermann, Leipzig”

Dimensions (cm): Height = 64, Width = 18, Length = 36


Used in combination with other instruments to record the temporal variations of various physical events (usually related to the human body). Events are recorded in ink or smoked paper along the rotating drum.

Condition: Excellent.

Associated Instruments:

Manufacturer: E. Zimmermann, Leipzig

Date of Manufacture: 1907


Department of Psychology, University of Toronto

Historical Notes:

Physiologists first used Kymographs for recording blood pressure. Experimental psychologists adopted the kymograph as an instrument for recording various time-related events: response times, stimulus presentations, muscle exertion and tuning fork vibrations.

1) Tichener, E.B. 1918, Experimental Psychology, A Manual of Laboratory Practice, Vol I, Qualitative Experiments, Part II. Instructor’s Manual. NY: Macmillian, pp. 172-176