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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.

Accession Number:

Alternative Name: Searle’s Viscometer

Primary Materials: Metal, Glass, String


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


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


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


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: