Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

The Earthquake of Tokio, April 18, 1889


READING the report on this earthquake in NATURE (June 13, p. 162), I was struck by its coincidence in time with a very singular perturbation registered by two delicate horizontal pendulums at the Observatories of Potsdam and Wilhelmshaven. These instruments, which represent, with some modification, Prof. Zöllner's horizontal pendulum, were established in March 1889, for studying the slight movements of the ground. The motion of the pendulum, which is left to oscillate freely whenever its equilibrium is disturbed, is registered by the same photographic method as that employed for magnetic observations. The pendulum is in the plane of the meridian, so that any shock, the direction of which is not in this plane, will produce oscillations of the pendulum, diminishing gradually, if it is left undisturbed after the shock. The pillars supporting the instruments are fixed in a depth of 1 metre below the ground of the cellar which was chosen as a suitable place for the erection of the instrument.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

VON REBEUR-PASCHWITZ, E. The Earthquake of Tokio, April 18, 1889. Nature 40, 294–295 (1889).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing