Sound Pendulum

Sound Pendulum

Usage conditions apply
This consists of a graduated arc, a pendulum with a hard rubber bob, and a block of ebony, so designed that the intensity of the sound produced, when the bob hits the block, is proportional to the height of fall of the bob. The first device of this sort was made by Alfred W. Volkmann (1800-1877), a German physiologist.
Ref: C. H. Stoelting Co., Psychological and Physiological Apparatus and Supplies (Chicago, 1930), p. 37.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Pendulum, Sound
sound pendulum
memory drum
Other Terms
Pendulum, Sound; Diagnostic Medicine
date made
around 1900
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
cloth (overall material)
ebony (overall material)
overall: 39.5 cm x 14.8 cm x 52.6 cm; 15 9/16 in x 5 13/16 in x 20 11/16 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Cornell University Department of Psychology
Science & Scientific Instruments
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
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.


Add a comment about this object