Article ID: CBB916234268

August Kirschmann and the Material Culture of Colour in Toronto’s Early Psychological Laboratory (2015)


Between 1893 and 1908, the German-born psychologist August Kirschmann (1860- 1932) led the University of Toronto’s newly founded psychological laboratory. Trained by the founder of experimental psychology, Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) Kirschmann was among an early generation of psychologists who helped to establish new laboratories across Europe and North America. Kirschmann’s main area of study was colour perception—a vital field during a period in which the technology of colour and illumination was advancing rapidly. This paper explores Kirschmann’s contribution through the material culture of his research in Toronto—especially instruments based on the technology of disc mixture. It discusses the exchange of experimental technology between Germany, where commercial manufacture of laboratory instruments was underway, and Toronto. It also explores Kirschmann’s technological contribution to his field. It cites, where possible, surviving objects and materials.

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Authors & Contributors
Staubermann, Klaus B.
Linn, Mott
MacDougall, Heather A.
Lachapelle, Sofie
Ash, Mitchell G.
Kargon, Jeremy
Nuncius: Annali di Storia della Scienza
Rittenhouse: Journal of the American Scientific Instrument Enterprise
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
Wiener Zeitschrift zur Geschichte der Neuzeit
University of Toronto Press
Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft
University of Toronto
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT
University of Chicago Press
Visual perception
Scientific apparatus and instruments
Franklin, Christine Ladd
Binet, Alfred
Descartes, René
Kant, Immanuel
Rood‏, Ogden Nicholas
Peirce, Charles Sanders
Toronto (Ontario)
United States
Ottoman Empire
Istanbul (Turkey)
Leipzig (Germany)
19th century
20th century
18th century
20th century, early
17th century
University of Toronto
Clark University
Greek Philological Society of Constantinople
University of Edinburgh
Jesuits (Society of Jesus)

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