Peirce Gravity Pendulum


This is the invariable (but not reversible) pendulum designed by Charles Sanders Peirce, and produced by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in the early 1880s.

Ref: Victor Lenzen and Robert Multhauf, "Development of Gravity Pendulums in the 19th Century," United States National Museum Bulletin 240 (1965): 301-348.

E. D. Preston, "Determinations of Gravity and the Magnetic Elements in Connection with the United States Expedition to the West Coast of Africa, 1889-90," Report of the Superintendent of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey for 1889-90, Appendix 12, plate 58, fig. I.

Date Made: ca 1881

Location: Currently not on view

Subject: U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences, Measuring & Mapping


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: PH.316503Accession Number: 225703Catalog Number: 316503

Object Name: gravity pendulum

Measurements: overall: 54 in x 2 1/2 in; 137.16 cm x 6.35 cm


Record Id: nmah_1029653

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