The first factor in the interpretation of blood pressure must be a satisfactory instrument. It should, to be of service for general work, be portable, quick of adjustment and accurate. These qualities are possessed in eminent degree by the tonometer of Recklinghausen. It does not detract from the achievement of Riva-Rocci that later modifications have improved the technic; his merit will always lie in the impetus given to the study of blood pressure as a routine feature of the general examination; the aim now must be to analyze the findings properly.
The tonometer of Recklinghausen is based on the principle, first introduced into physical science by Bourdon and later incorporated into the kymograph of Fick, that if a very shallow, curved, elongated air chamber, fixed at one end, communicate at one end of the arc with a pressure apparatus, while the other is closed, any increase of pressure will be