Gray-Milne seismograph, 1885.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This seismograph was made by James White of Glasgow in 1885. It was designed by Thomas Gray and John Milne (1851-1913), while they were both profesors at the Imperial College of Engineering in Tokyo, Japan. The seismograph ran continuously, recording traces with three pens on one roll of paper. Milne is regarded as the founding father of the science of seismology. He travelled to Japan in 1876 to study seismology, and experienced an earthquake on the evening of his arrival. The earthquake that struck Japan in 1891 was studied using modern seismological instruments and techniques that had been developed by Milne and his colleagues over the previous fifteen years. His library and instruments are held in the Science Museum collections.