Marey type sphygmograph, Paris, France, 1866-1900
This sphygmograph traces an undulating line. The line is a record of the rate, strength and variations of the pulse over time. The first practical, portable version was devised in 1860 by French physician Étienne-Jules Marey (1830-1904). It was strapped to the wrist. This one has a lever. The lever rests on the radial artery in the wrist while the other end scratches the trace onto smoked paper. The paper moved at a uniform rate due to a clockwork mechanism. This sphygmograph was made in Paris by instrument maker Breguet.
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The throbbing of the arteries as blood flows through them. The pulse matches the rate at which the heart is beating.
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.