Marey sphygmograph, 1866-1900.
3 2 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 24cm

Marey sphygmograph, 1866-1900.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Made by Breguet, Paris. The sphygmograph traces an undulating line, which represents a record of blood presure and pulse over time. The first practical, portable version was devised in 1860 by the French physician Etienne-Jules Marey (1830-1904) and was strapped to the wrist. This one has a lever, which rests on the radial artery in the wrist while the other end scratches the trace on to smoked paper. The paper moved at a uniform rate due to the presence of a clockwork mechanism.

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