Midweek Quiz – Answers!

National Marine Biological Library

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SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t had a look at the quiz before reading this, head there now for a guess before you read the answers. Here are what those pictures we posted earlier today are, and what they’re for:


Abbe’s Test-Platte – A coverslip used to focus a microscope’s objective lens.


Barograph – A scientific instrument used in meteorology to measure atmospheric pressure and help forecast the weather.


Beam Scales – A simple weight measuring device.


CTD (Sonde) – An oceanographic instrument used to determine the conductivity, temperature, and depth of a particular part of the ocean.


Diving Helmet – A replica of the diving helmet used by the MBA scientists J. A. Kitching, T. T. Macon and H. C. Gilson in summer 1931 to assess the possibility of studying the sublittoral (seashore) ecology at Plymouth.

Epidiascope – This device was used to display (or project) opaque materials by shining bright light on to the subject from above.

Flow Meter – Used to measure the movement (flow) of liquids.

Fuller Calculator – A logarithmic calculator. Its fundamental principle is precisely the same as an ordinary Slide Rule, but it differs radically in mechanical construction.


Herbarium Press – A wooden and metal clamping mechanism used to preserve the diverse variety of flora specimens that make up the MBA Herbarium.


Ionization Potentiometer – An instrument that measures electrical potential (voltage) in a circuit.

Levin-Wyman Ergometer – One of only five in existence. This device was invented at Plymouth and used to examine the mechanical properties of dogfish hyoid muscles.

Marine Distance Meter – A device used by mariners to determine the distance between two ships.

MBA Squilla Bell – This bell was used on the research vessel MBA Squilla which operated between 1973 and 2003.

Microscope – A folding brass binocular microscope once owned by E. T. Browne.


Microsix-L Exposure Meter – An instrument that is used to measure the quantity of light reaching a microscope lens.


Pantograph – A mechanical linkage based on parallelograms so that the movement of one pencil or pen, in tracing an image, produces identical movements in a second pencil or pen.

Precise Level – These devices are used by surveyors to accurately determine the position of points and the distances and angles between them.


Precision Micro-Projector – An instrument that projects microscope slides onto a white screen or wall.


Resistometer – An instrument for measuring the variations in resistivity along wires.


Rocking Microtome – This device slices soft animal tissue for examination under a microscope.

Sledge – This sledge was used on the British Antarctic Expedition (1910-1913) by the MBA biologist E. W. Nelson. It is currently on loan to Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery.

Specimen Slide Drawers – Twenty-nine drawers containing slide specimens of a variety of marine life.

Torsion Balance – A device used to measure the gravitational acceleration at the Earth’s surface.

Universal Avometer – A type of sensitive ammeter: an instrument for detecting electric current.


Weston Normal Cell – Invented by Edward Weston in 1893, this device is used in laboratories to calibrate voltmeters.

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