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Granville type sphygmograph, London, England, 1885-1900

A sphygmograph records the rate, strength and variations of the pulse. It is strapped to the wrist. The pulse beat is transmitted to a lever which records it on smoked paper. The first efficient sphygmograph was invented by Étienne-Jules Marey (1830-1904) in 1860. This example was made in the late 1800s. It is of a type designed by Mortimer Granville (1833-1900). It was made by instrument maker Walters and Company in London.

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Glossary: pulse

The throbbing of the arteries as blood flows through them. The pulse matches the rate at which the heart is beating.

Glossary: sphygmograph

An instrument used to measure the pulse. It records the strength and rate of a person's pulse. Records are recorded on graph paper.

Glossary: blood pressure

The pressure at which blood is pumped around the body, closely related to the heart rate.