Benioff Horizontal Seismometer (WWSSN)

This variable reluctance, short-period horizontal seismometer is based on the design of Hugo Benioff, a scientist on the staff of the Seismological Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. It was made by the Geotechnical Corporation in Dallas, Texas, in the early 1960s, for use in VELA-Uniform, a government-sponsored project designed to detect and map earthquakes and underground nuclear explosions. One part of VELA-Uniform was a World Wide Standardized Seismograph Network.
This example is marked "Model No. 1101 / Serial No. 4201." It was used at the WWSSN station at Junction City, Texas.
Object Name
date made
Geotechnical Corporation
overall: 53 cm x 50.4 cm x 53.5 cm; 20 7/8 in x 19 27/32 in x 21 1/16 in
place made
United States: Texas, Dallas
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Measuring & Mapping
Science & Mathematics
Cold War
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
U.S. Geological Survey

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.