- A chronoscope is a sophisticated clock that measures minute intervals of time. The “M. Hipp / Neuchatel, Suisse / N. 13184” inscription on the dial of this example refers to Matthäus Hipp, a German clockmaker who settled in Switzerland during the political turmoil of 1848, and retired in 1889. The double electromagnet at the top is a feature that Hipp introduced in 1875.The serial number indicates a date in the 1880s.
- With the opening of the U.S. National Museum in 1881, the Smithsonian took on the task of teaching visitors about technologies, from the most primitive to the most sophisticated, from cultures around the world. It was in this context that the Smithsonian acquired a Hipp chronoscope that could “cut a second into five hundred parts.” An 1891 account of the Museum displays noted that the chronoscope was located near a Benjamin Franklin press and an assortment of clocks and watches.
- Ref: Thomas Schraven, “The Hipp Chronoscope,” http://vlp.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/documents/schraven_art13.pdf
- Currently not on view
- Object Name
- Chronoscope, Hipp
- date made
- late 1880s
- overall: 52 cm x 26.7 cm x 21.5 cm; 20 15/32 in x 10 1/2 in x 8 15/32 in
- overall; chronoscope: 20 5/16 in x 10 5/16 in x 8 3/4 in; 51.59375 cm x 26.19375 cm x 22.225 cm
- overall; weight: 2 1/8 in x 2 5/8 in; 5.3975 cm x 6.6675 cm
- overall; dome: 6 1/2 in x 5 3/4 in x 5 in; 16.51 cm x 14.605 cm x 12.7 cm
- ID Number
- accession number
- catalog number
- Credit Line
- Smithsonian Institution
- Science & Scientific Instruments
- See more items in
- Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History
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