Presentation / Talk

Force and Work Measurements: The Beginnings

The first practical, portable “dynamometer”, designed in 1798 by Regnier, was used to quantify the muscular strength of men and animals. It was promptly used by ethnologists to test the strength of the “savages”. A smaller improved model (Collin dynamometer) is still sold to medical and para-medical practitioners. With the development of agricultural and industrial machinery from the beginning of the 19th c., the need arose to measure not only the force between a motor and a load, but also the work done and the delivered power. Inventors and mechanics competed to combine heavy force-measuring machinery with newly invented delicate, precise graphic-recording apparatus and/or integrators and planimeters.

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