Larson Polygraph - City of Berkely Police Dept.


In 1921, the Chief of Police in Berkeley, Ca., asked John Augustus Larson (1892-1965), a policeman then studying at the University of California at Berkeley, to build a polygraph suitable for police work. This is that instrument. It was also the first that was capable of simultaneously recording blood pressure changes, pulse rate and respiration.

Ref: John A Larson, Lying and Detection: A Study of Deception and Deception Tests (Glen Ridge, 1932).

“Lie Detector Pioneer Dies,”[Baltimore] Sun (Sept. 23, 1965), p. 19.

Date Made: ca 1923

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: California, Berkeley

Subject: Psychology


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Medicine


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift from the City of Berkeley Police Department

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: MG.322715.01Catalog Number: 322715.01Accession Number: 322715

Object Name: Lie Detectorlie detector

Physical Description: metal; wood; rubber; glass (overall (polygraph) material)paper (tape material)wood (case material)glass (case material)Measurements: case: 63 cm x 142.5 cm x 46.5 cm; 24 13/16 in x 56 3/32 in x 18 5/16 in


Record Id: nmah_1286189

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.