Callendar and Griffiths Bridge

Physics

Accession Number: 2010.ph.302

Instrument Name: Callendar and Griffiths Bridge

Description:

The Callendar and Griffiths bridge is contained in a 50cm-long, 27cm-wide and 17cm-tall wooden box with a 7cm-tall lockable and openable lid. The body of the bridge itself is 46cm long, 23cm wide and 10cm tall and it is fixed on a 49cm-long and 26cm-wide wooden board. Unlike more contemporary and newer versions of Callendar and Griffiths bridges, the external box and the bridge itself are not seamlessly fitted between each other. Instead, there is a gap between the bridge and the inner sides of the box. There was a brass hinge in the lower-left corner of the box in the aforementioned gap, allowing the bridge to be lifted out of the box while secured by the hinge. The panel of the bridge is consisted of three parts. Two parallel brass rods outside and two iron alloy strings inside together form a rail on the lower side of the panel, allowing a jockey sliding from left to right. In the middle there are eight brass terminals with plastic-capped switches. Different readings are marked on the brass terminal seats as well on the corresponding plastic caps: 10, 20, 40, 80, 160, 320, 640, 1280. On the upper side there are eight brass coils.

Alternative Name:

Callendar & Griffiths Bridge, Callander-Griffiths Bridge, Callender and Griffiths Bridge

Primary Materials:

Copper alloy, Wood, Slate, Silver, Platinum, Mica

Markings:

On a metal bar within the case: “THE CAMBRIDGE SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENT CO. LTD. CAMBRIDGE ENGLAND”

“No. 25490″

“197″ (This marking appears to have been added post-manufacture)

“CALLENDAR & GRIFFITHS BRIDGE”

There are numeral readings on the sliding rail, graduated in tenths, and marked in units. The electric readings are both etched on the brass terminals and the corresponding plastic caps.

Dimensions (cm): 50cm x 27cm x 17cm

Function:

The very accurate measurement of electrical resistance. This instrument has a self-testing feature.

Condition:

Very good. The exterior of the box is in good condition. There is slight corrosion on some of the internal metal components.

Manufacturer:

Cambridge Scientific Instruments Company, Cambridge

Date of Manufacture: c. 1910

Provenance:

Department of Physics, University of Toronto

Additional Information and References:

“The Callendar & Griffiths Self-Testing Resistance Box” Scientific American Supplement Vol. 42 No. 1093 (December 12, 1896 pg 17475-17476.

Donated to UTSIC: No

Historical Notes:

Note: Although “Callender” now appears to be common, the spelling “Callendar” is accurate. The instrument is named for Hugh Longbourne Callendar (1863-1930), a professor at (in this order) Cambridge, McGill, University College London and Imperial College, London.