Viscometer

Physics

Accession Number: 2009.ph.67

Description:

A circular base, diameter of 14cm, with 2 metal rods inserted vertically. One rod has a cylinder block attached to it with a glass slit passing through the middle of the cylinder. The other rod is used as a support for the first rod; it supports the cylinder block and allows the height of the attached metal plate to be adjusted. The metal plate spans approximately 27cm across and has a wheel-based pulley system at each end.

Alternative Name: Searle’s Viscometer

Primary Materials: Metal, Glass, String

Markings:

On the base: “W.G. PYE CAMBRIDGE”

On a paper label on the base: “PHY861” This refers to the 1978 inventory number.

Dimensions (cm):

Height = 32.5cm, Length = 34cm, Width= 13cm

Function:

This is an instrument for measuring the viscosity of very thick liquids.

Condition:

Fair. The object’s cylinder shows evidence of being resealed or resoldered, and the base of the artifact is corroded and peeling. The object shows considerable evidence of use.

Associated Instruments:

Manufacturer: W.G. PYE, CAMBRIDGE CO. LTD.

Date of Manufacture: c. 1920s

Provenance:

This item was likely purchased by Professor John Satterly in the 1910s or 1920s, for use in the U of T Physics Department undergraduate laboratory.

Additional Information and References:

This item was designed by G.F.C. Searle. Searle was a professor at the Cavendish Laboratory who designed a variety of instruments for teaching and demonstration. His designs were made for sale by Pye & Co. Ltd., Cambridge.

Its purchase is recorded by Satterly in a ledger that records purchases made for the undergraduate laboratory between 1912 and 1934. The ledger is now kept at the University of Toronto archives.

See also the Pye & Co. Ltd 1910 catalogue, kept in the UTSIC catalogue collection.

Historical Notes: