Counter from the U.S. Geological Survey

This instrument consists of a mahogany case, nailed shut, with two glass windows. Four openings in a brass plate are visible below one of the windows. These windows are marked on the brass 10, 100, 1000, and 10000. There are number dials below them. According to earlier cataloging, the instrument contains an electromagnet and clockwork which operates the counter. Powered by a battery, the device could count numbers of revolutions and similar phenomena. Measuring time with a stop watch, one could calculate velocities.
A mark at the front of the top of the instrument and on the bottom reads: 39. The U.S. Geological Survey transferred the instrument to the Smithsonian in 1908. It had been used in the Water Resources Branch of the Survey.
Accession file 48341.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1900
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
mahogany (overall material)
brass (overall material)
overall: 7 cm x 14.9 cm x 10.8 cm; 2 3/4 in x 5 7/8 in x 4 1/4 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Science & Mathematics
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Transfer from U. S. Geological Survey
Additional Media

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