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Vertical Kymograph (Zimmermann)


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.

Accession Number: 2012.psy.85

Alternative Name:

Primary Materials: Brass, metal


Manufacturer’s label “E. Zimmermann, Leipzig”

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


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.

Condition: Excellent.

Associated Instruments:

Manufacturer: E. Zimmermann, Leipzig

Date of Manufacture: 1907


Department of Psychology, University of Toronto

Additional Information and References:

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

Historical Notes: