Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Historic medical instruments (NIH History Office)

Historic medical instruments (NIH History Office) – http://history.nih.gov/museum/virtual_instruments.html

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What would you use a micrometric gasometer for?
  • What does a refractometer look like?
  • What could a planimeter be used for in medicine?


From the website, “The following exhibit features a cross section of precision instruments from the Intramural (in-house) Research Program at the National Institutes of Health, used between 1945 and 1965.”

If you have a medical story set in the mid 20th century and can’t tell a tensiometer from a colorimeter, this site could be for you.


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