Rare Georgian Pedometer by Spencer & Perkins of London
Rare Georgian Pedometer by Spencer & Perkins of London

SPENCER & PERKINS, LONDON (worked c.1770-1780)

Rare Georgian Pedometer by Spencer & Perkins of London

1700 to 1800 England

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A Rare Georgian Pedometer by Spencer & Perkins of London
With a white enamel face with three dials: 1/1000th of a mile, (one click of the mechanism) 1/10th of a mile and 1 – 12 miles. With a fob hook, the case of shagreen and gilt brass. In good overall condition
Circa 1775 – 1794

Size: 5.5cm dia., 3cm deep, 15cm long (with arm) – 2¼ ins dia., 1¼ ins deep, 6 ins long (with arm)
cf: a very similar pedometer in the London Science Museum (inventory no. 33898)
A pedometer or step counter was a method of measuring distance by counting the number of paces it takes to walk or run from one place to another. This pedometer made by Spencer & Perkins in the late 18th century was hooked over a belt or strap and the swings in walking were counted by a weighted mechanism inside the case. Worn on the belt and kept on all day it would count the steps a person takes by detecting the motion of their hips and recording how many steps the wearer has walked that day and therefore the miles: distance = the number of steps x step length.
The ancient Romans used a hodometer calibrated to steps to measure distances for military and civil purposes. The definition of the international mile comes from the Roman military method of keeping track of how far a soldier had travelled on foot. The Latin 'mille passus' means a 'thousand paces' where one pace equals two steps.
Medium
Brass, shagreen and glass
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