As a public health precaution due to COVID-19, all Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are temporarily closed. We are not announcing a reopening date at this time and will provide updates on our website and social media.

Peirce Gravity Pendulum

Peirce Gravity Pendulum

Usage conditions apply
Downloads
Description
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.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
gravity pendulum
date made
ca 1881
Measurements
overall: 54 in x 2 1/2 in; 137.16 cm x 6.35 cm
ID Number
PH.316503
accession number
225703
catalog number
316503
Credit Line
U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey
subject
U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

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.

Note: Comment submission on our collection pages is temporarily unavailable. Please check back soon!

If you have a question or require a personal response, please visit our FAQ or contact page.