Time and Power Console (WWSSN)

Each of the 120 stations in the WWSSN had a time and power console. This example is marked “Geotech / World Wide Seismograph System / Time and Power Console / Model 8682 / The Geotechnical Corp. / Dallas, Tex.” It was used in Junction City, Tex.
Established in the early 1960s, the World Wide Standard Seismological Network was a key component of VELA Uniform, a Cold War project that was funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), a branch of the Department of Defense. The WWSSN was designed to detect underground nuclear tests and generate valuable information about the earth’s interior and its dynamic processes. It was managed by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey and then by the U.S. Geological Survey. That agency transferred this instrument to the Smithsonian in 1999.
Incorporated in 1936, the Geotechnical Corporation conducted research in and produced instruments for the earth sciences. It got into defense work after World War II, went public in 1962, and was bought by Teledyne in 1965.
Ref: United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, Instrumentation of the World-Wide Seismograph System, Model 10700 (Washington, D.C., 1962).
Currently not on view
Object Name
time and power console
date made
Geotechnical Corporation
overall: 177 cm x 60 cm x 50 cm; 69 11/16 in x 23 5/8 in x 19 11/16 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

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