Inertia Demonstration Device


This simple inertia demonstration device—consisting of a card, a ball resting on a pillar, and a spring mechanism—shows that when the card is struck, it will fly off and the ball will remain in place. This may date from around 1846 when New York State issued a charter to the Collegiate Department of the Hamilton Literary & Theological Institution, the precursor institution to Colgate University.

Ref: Benjamin Pike, Jr., Pike’s Illustrated Descriptive Catalogue of Optical, Mathematical, and Philosophical Instruments (New York, 1856), vol. 1, p. 141.

Location: Currently not on view

Subject: Science & Scientific Instruments


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences


Exhibition Location:

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: PH.318734Catalog Number: 318734Accession Number: 234695

Object Name: inertia demonstration apparatus

Measurements: overall: 13 1/8 in x 12 1/16 in x 4 1/8 in; 33.3375 cm x 30.63875 cm x 10.4775 cm


Record Id: nmah_1817369

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