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Dynamometer

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made in Edinburgh

Dynamometer
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Dynamometers were used to measure the strength or pulling force of humans and animals. This brass example is an adaptation of a type of dynamometer described by the Frenchman Edme Regnier (1751-1825) in 1817. It was made around 1830, by Alexander Adie & Son, scientific instrument makers based in Edinburgh. It was in the collection of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland and was intended to assess the efficiency of ploughs.

The instrument consists of a bent steel spring to which is attached a piece of steel supporting a brass quadrant which bears the scales, showing the amount of force exerted in imperial pounds by a steel index. Humans pull this device against an iron rack, using both hands; with animals, a double hook is attached to one end of the spring and the other to a rope fixed to a stake.

Derived from the Greek words meaning 'strength' and 'a measure', the dynamometer was derived to measure the relative strength of humans and animals.

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