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Voltage Switch


This object consists of a small wooden box sitting on a slightly larger wooden base. It has a black flat top, likely made of slate. On top of the black top, there are four metal knobs, one at each corner. Between these, there is a unit consisting of a flat strip of metal fixed to to the black surface at one end by a screw. In its normal position, the metal strip presses up against a metallic structure with an adjusting knurled knob on top. The free end of the strip has a knob that when depressed pushes the strip down to make contact with another contact beneath the strip.

Accession Number: 2018.ast.65

Alternative Name:

Primary Materials:

Wood; Metal; Copper Alloy, Iron Alloy; Stone: Slate?, Plastic


On the black top: “KIPP DELFT HOLLAND”

At one end of the metal strip: “0.0001 VOLT”

At the other: “2 VOLT”

Dimensions (cm): Length: 15, Width: 7.8, Height: 8.5


The permits the creating a change in voltage between 0.0001 volts and 2 volts, when the switch is depressed by hand. This would likely have been used in conjunction with other equipment, i.e. a kymograph to record the duration of an event.


Very Good: The wood of the box is in excellent condition. The stone surface of the box is covered with a thin layer of crystallized matter. In places, the metallic pieces are very slightly worn.

Associated Instruments: 2018.ast.64, 2018.ast.66

Manufacturer: P.J. Kipp, Delft, Holland

Date of Manufacture: 1930s


This object was likely moved from the David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill in 2008, upon the sale of the observatory. It was stored at the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics until 2017, when it was moved to a new storage location in McLennan Physical Laboratories.

Additional Information and References:

Historical Notes: