Pulse glass in wooden case
This sand glass looks like an old-fashioned egg timer. British epidemiologist and civil servant Sir George Buchanan (1831-1895) once owned it. He was once head of the Public Health Department in England. He used it as an aid when timing a patient’s pulse. It was filled with a grey powder. The sand glass was designed to run for exactly one minute.
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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.
Device to measure equal periods of time by the motion of sand or other free-flowing, fine-grained substances through a narrow aperture between two triangular or conical glass bulbs arranged mouth to mouth; probably introduced in the early 14th century and used then especially for timekeeping on board ships. Hour-glass or minute-glass are specific examples.