From the Grainger Museum collection
A public research query at the Grainger Museum recently turned up a fascinating experiment in keeping time for Grainger Curator Heather Gaunt when she discovered a Pinfold’s patent silent gravity metronome.
This remarkable timekeeper was brought to light in the process of sourcing material for a public research query from The Mona McBurney Collection, in the Grainger Museum Archive. Accessioned as part of a donation made in 1985 by the family of musician Mona McBurney (1862-1932), the metronome had not been photographed or fully documented by the Museum to date. Once the three separate metal parts – arm and legs – were fitted together correctly, in a delicate balance, the object revealed its true nature… a silent oscillating timekeeper.
Further research revealed some interesting facts. Patented in the USA on 31 March 1891, the ‘Improved Metronome’ was designed in England by Arthur Gough Pinfold. More
Image: Pinfold’s patent silent gravity metronome, c.1900. Grainger Museum, University of Melbourne