Dr. Santorio's Water Current Meter, Circa 1610

by Arthur H. Frazier,


Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1969, Vol. 95, Issue 1, Pg. 249-254


Document Type: Journal Paper

Abstract: A water current meter, and a similarly-constructed anemometer are shown to have been made in about 1610 by an Italian physician, Dr. Santorio Santorio, (1561-1636). It is contended that current meters (in contrast to ordinary floats) had been under consideration for over 100 years before the advent of either Pitot or Woltman (who are usually credited for having originally introduced such an innovation). A suggestion is offered that the development work on current meters during those intervening years might be an interesting subject for further research. Dr. Santorio made these instruments for determining the critical velocity conditions below which the noise of blusterous winds and a tumultuous waterfall tended to soothe, and above which it tended to disturb his patients in a certain area in Croatia (now Yugoslavia). Illustrations of those instruments, as drawn by Dr. Santorio, are presented.

Subject Headings: Water meters | Wind forces | Measuring instruments | Innovation | Croatia | Europe

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