- Natograph Poster
This poster was created by the Springfield College Department of Physiology and features their experiments with the natograph, a machine invented by Peter V. Karpovich. The photograph on the left shows the natograph and the one on the right shows the machine in use in Judd Gymnasium. Between the two photographs are tracings reproduced from the natograph detailing five different swimming strokes.
- Springfield College Archives and Special Collections
- Collection (local):
College Archives Digital Collections
Peter V. Karpovich Papers
Springfield College--Alumni and alumnae
Karpovich, Peter V.
Plummer, Clayton R.
Massachusetts > Hampden (county) > Springfield
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The natograph tested the efficiency of swimming strokes by measuring the progression of a swimmer every one fifth of a second. It consisted of a revolving drum around which a line was fastened and attached to the swimmer’s waist (as seen in the framed diagram) or to a floating tripod over the swimmer, and a revolving contact switch to mark time intervals on a kymograph (a rotating drum holding paper on which a stylus traces a continuous record). As the line was pulled by the swimmer it revolved the drum. Peter V. Karpovich (1896-1975) was born in Russia and trained as a medical doctor at the State Military Academy of Medicine in Petrograd (St. Petersburg), Russia in 1919. Under increasing political and professional turmoil, he fled to Latvia in 1922. In Latvia, Karpovich worked at the Riga YMCA. In 1925, he traveled to the United States to research at Springfield College. While there, he enrolled as a special advanced student and earned a master’s degree in physical education. In 1927, while completing his studies, he became a professor of physiology at the college. In the late 1940s, he met and married his second wife, Josephine Rathbone, an acclaimed scholar of physical education and relaxation. From 1961 to 1969, he served as the director of the physiology research laboratory at Springfield College, where he published several seminal books. Karpovich was a founding member of the American College of Sports Medicine and a consultant to many government, private and educational organizations. He remains an internationally recognized pioneer in physical education.
Edges have tears and the left photograph is not attached; Originally digitized in 2009 for an exhibit. That digital copy did not represent the whole document. This is the second time this document has been digitized;