Drum chronograph

Title

Drum chronograph

Subject

Astronomy
Clocks
Measuring instrument
Time recording device
Furniture

Description

Metal, wood, glass

The chronograph, made by Warner and Swasey, is permanently mounted in the clock room. Includes wooden box (9 ¼ x 6 ¼ x 50 ¾ inches) connected to counter-weights and pulleys attached to the ceiling. It consists of a brass cylinder 7-inches in diameter and 14-inches long onto which paper is attached. The driving mechanism is housed to the immediate left of the cylinder. The driving mechanism consists of a spinning governor for regulation and weights to provide the power. A pen is carried on the armature of an electromagnet through which, when current flows, makes a tick mark on the rotating paper. It is possible to measure the time and duration of an event to a hundredth of a second accuracy (depending on how accurately the clock is set).

The weight driven gears still work although the system needs cleaning. The armature and drum still work. The paint on the chronograph is cracking.

The chronograph is connected to the Observatory’s clocks, which provide tick marks every second, and to a key, usually by a transit telescope. An astronomer hits the key when an event occurs and a tick mark is left on the paper with the second tick marks. By recording events this way astronomers can concentrate on the telescope observations and can read the times from the paper at a more convenient time. The chronograph continued to be use in association with the clocks through the 1960s for timing lunar occultation’s and transits.

Creator

Warner & Swasey Company

Source

Todd, David P. (1897) A New Astronomy. American Book Company: New York. Page 213.

Publisher

Astronomy Department, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois

Date

1896

Contributor

Michael Svec

Rights

Copyright Michael Svec

Format

image/jpg

Language

English

Type

physical object

Identifier

University of Illinois Observatory Collection A116
University ID 016668, obs36

Coverage

University of Illinois Observatory, Urbana, Illinois

Files

Warner & Swasey drum chronograph
DSCN0219.JPG
DSCN0270.JPG

Collection

Citation

Warner & Swasey Company, “Drum chronograph,” University of Illinois Observatory Collection, accessed December 16, 2017, http://uiobservatory.omeka.net/items/show/14.