1902 - The First Psychology Lab in Florida

This lab was very well equipped for an institution of this size, and it joined the other laboratories located on the second floor of the College Hall building. The 1902 Catalogue asserts that the lab established here by H. Elmer Bierly was also the first psychological laboratory established in the State of Florida. Undoubtedly, this initiative was supported by President Murphree.

Where did we stand in the establishment of psychology laboratories in the national perspective? The 1st psychology lab in the U.S.A. was established in 1883 at Johns Hopkins University by G. Stanley Hall. By 1893, it is said that there were 20 psychology laboratories in American colleges and Universities (twice as many as in Europe), and by 1904 that number had increased to 49. Although we have not found our institution listed in rosters of early psychology labs in the U.S.A., it is clear that ours was established about 20 years after the first American lab.

From the 1902-03 Catalogue of the 46th Annual Session of the
Florida State College
The Psychological Laboratory

There has been established a psychological laboratory, the first one in Florida, which, with its apparatus and accessories, affords almost every opportunity for studying the different senses, memory, illusions, time relations, and the nervous system. The following is a partial list of the apparatus: On hearing: model of the ear, microscopic slides of the ear, sonometer, resonance boxes, set of tuning forks, Quincke tubes, Galton whistle, tone tester, siren, metronome, sound pendulum, Appunn's reed. For sight: model of the eye, histological slides of the eye, opthalmoscope, test cards for astigmatism, test for acuity of vision, binocular and monocular apparatus, photometer, pseudoptics, color disks, spectrum chart, perimeter, instruments for testing color blindness, stereoscope, blind-spot cards, prisms, projection lantern, zoetrope. On haptics and organic sensations: pressure balance, algesimeter, pressure pencils, temperature tubes, thermometers, aesthesiometers, tilt-board. On taste and smell: histological slides of the tongue and nose, oliactometer, solutions for tasting fruit flavors, oils, etc. On affective processes: weight, ergograph, sphymograph, dynamograph, hand dynamometer, automatograph, photographs illustrating expression of emotion, chronometer, kymograph, tambours, timemarkers. On action: chromoscopes, lip-key, rheocords. On general supplies: galvanometer, induction coils, multiple key, reaction key, voltmeter, ammeter, batteries, switches, bells, glassware, carpenter's tools, gas, water, acids, stop-watch, models of the brain, five hundred microscopic slides of the brain, colored wall diagrams of brain and sense organs, psychological portraits, psychological books, journals, etc.

The photos and captions below are from the 1903-04 Florida State College Catalogue


Testing Lung Capacity

Physiological and Psychological Laboratory




Top: Testing Hearing
Bottom: Study of fatigue

Top: Test of Sight
Bottom: Child Study Apparatus


Studying the Spectrum

Experimenting with X-ray

Theory of Sound



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