First Seismograph

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Item World's First Seismograph
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Taxonomy Chinese 2

The World's First Seismograph Photos taken by John Northwood during an exhibition of the original seismographs in China (1950's?). The Chinese Ground Motion Meter, invented in 132 A.D. by the Chinese mathematician, Cheng Heng, was the world's first seismograph. This was the earliest and simplest earthquake recorder. The eight wooden dragons each had a ball in its mouth. When an earthquake occurred, a ball dropped from a dragon's mouth into the frog's mouth beneath it, indicating the direction of the tremor. In 136 A.D. a Chinese name Choke updated this meter and called it a Seismoscope. Columns were used instead of balls which showed the occurrence and direction of an earthquake. The vessels were hollow and filled with a viscid liquid. The height to which the liquid was washed up the side of the vessel indicated the intensity and a line joining the points of maximum motion also denoted the direction of the tremor.