A very fine Bloch sphygmomanometer by Charles Verdin, circa 1890

A very fine Bloch sphygmomanometer by Charles Verdin, circa 1890

550 euros



Country of manufacture


Categories: Medicine, Diagnostics, Surgical instruments, Therapeutic & Functional Aids


“Not much larger than the average retractable pen with a grip, this sphygmomanometer could easily fit in a physician’s pocket, making it a popular instrument in Europe for measuring blood pressure from the 1890s through the 1920s. The original design was introduced around 1888 by the French physician Adolphe-Moïse Bloch (1842-1920). It featured a circular dial with a rotating needle. The French manufacturer Charles Verdin simplified it by replacing the bulky dial with a telescoping scale. That model is seen here.


To use the device the physician would rest his finger over the patient’s radial pulse, place the padded tip of the device onto his finger, and then, applying downward force on the rod, push his finger into the patient’s wrist. This caused the scale to rise from the interior of the rod. He continued this pressure until he no longer felt the patient’s pulse. At this point the physician would note how far the telescoping bar had emerged from the rod. The scale is graduated in grams from 100 to 1200. Later versions were marked in millimeters of mercury as well. After researchers demonstrated that readings from these types of sphygmomanometers were consistently unreliable, their use fell out of favor.”



A perfect and case example, in pristine condition and perfect working order.

Size of the instrument : 14,7 cm ; box : 15 cm lenght.

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FR Le Zograscope

Established by Alexandre Piffault in 2014 and based in Paris at 5 rue de Condé, 75006, very close to Odéon, Le Zograscope specializes in antique and rare books in Science, Medicine and Technology, and rare antique instruments in the same fields. We have especially a strong interest in early and continental microscopy, early and special mathematical/drawing instruments, medical and surgical instrument, and rare technology.

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