Psychological Apparatus, Memory Drum

Psychological Apparatus, Memory Drum

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This instrument has an L- shaped wooden base with six rubber feet. The base supports a wooden framework which holds a hollow metal drum. In this example, the drum is covered with blank paper and has no cover. The drum is moved by a handle (which is at one end) or a motor (which is on the on the part of the L, and joined to the other end of the drum). A typed sticker taped to one end of the framework for the drum reads: Memory Drum
Compare the memory drum with number 1979.3065.01. Both were acquired at the same time from the Psychology Department at the University of Arkansas.
Joel S. Freund, an emeritus faculty member at the University of Arkansas psychology department who helped to arrange the donation, suggests that these memory drums may have been associated with research of psychologist John A. McGeoch, who was at the University of Arkansas from 1928 to 1930.
Personal Communication, Joel S. Freund, December 5, 2019.
John A. McGeoch, “The Influence of Degree of Learning upon Retroactive Inhibition,” American Journal of Psychology, vol. 41 #2 (April 1929), pp. 252-262. On p. 252, McGeoch refers to using a Chicago memory drum (a product of C. H. Stoelting Company of Chicago).
John A. McGeoch and William T. McDonald, “Meaningful Relation and Retroactive Inhibition,“ American Journal of Psychology, vo. 43 #4 (October 1931), pp. 579-588. By this time McGeoch had moved to the University of Missouri, but he reports on work done at the University of Arkansas. He mentions an “electrically driven memory drum: on p. 581.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Psychological Apparatus
date made
ca 1928-1930
University of Arkansas
place made
United States: Arkansas, Fayetteville
overall: 30 cm x 56 cm x 47 cm; 11 13/16 in x 22 1/16 in x 18 1/2 in
ID Number
catalog number
nonaccession number
Credit Line
Gift of University of Arkansas, Department of Psychology
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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