W. Wilbraham Falconer’s  Arthrometer for measuring joint movement

W. Wilbraham Falconer’s Arthrometer for measuring joint movement


W. Wilbraham Falconer's Arthrometer for measuring joint movement


See description




G.P. Pilling & Son

Country of manufacture

North America

Categories: Medicine, Diagnostics


During the years following World War I, W. Wilbraham Falconer was the Superintendent of Mechanical Treatment at the Red Cross Clinic for the Physical Treatment of Disabled Officers in London. He is generally credited with introducing the term arthrometry and the development [C1920] of the first accurate arthrometer.  In his words: ”Arthrometry or joint movement mensuration may be defined as a system for  measuring by means of an instrument the various angles of movement of a joint  of the body during the course of a treatment.“ This is not to say that he was the first to measure joint movement. In his monograph on this subject, he notes that during the war French medics used fleximeters and goniometers for this procedure, but they were expensive, complicated and not always accurate.* We are offering the  instrument he introduced for this procedure. While Falconer was dealing with war injuries, arthrometry, employing hi-tech instrumentation,  is currently used for measurement relating to arthritis as well at traumatic and nontraumatic joint injuries.

Between the wars, Falconer’s arthrometer was made and sold by a number of English medical instrument companies, among them Allen & Hanburys. The example we are offering was made by G.P. Pilling & Son, of Philadelphia. It is shown on page 317 of their 1932 catalog.** It differs from the English examples in that it has porcelain rather than a metal face. Dimensions: diameter 4” or 10cm, height 1” or 2.5”. It is in excellent cosmetic and mechanical order. Not many examples appear to have survived. 


** https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015031500500&view=1up&seq=318

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M and R Gordon

Michael and Roberta Gordon have been dealing in medical and dental antiques for more than four decades. They have helped build a number of major private collections and have contributed to the holdings of many museums. They also deal in other scientific and technology related items, including calculating instruments, office machines, patent models and wine-related accessories such as corkscrews. ROBERTA GORDON IS A SKILLED RESTORER WHO CAN HELP YOU WITH ANY INSTRUMENTS AND CASES THAT NEED ATTENTION. Feel free to contact them for details at: [email protected] or 718-541-5974