Stroboscopes, like automotive timing lights, use a bright flashing light to make rapid movement appear to stand still. However, the stroboscope uses a shutter type aperture to make rapid movement appear to stop or move slowly in either direction. A spinning plate with a slot in it is driven by a small electric motor. By looking through a slot in the backing plate and adjusting the speed of the motor, an observer can essentially slow down rapid movement so that its action or position can be viewed. Detailed plans for this stroboscope can be found in volume three of The Shop Wisdom of Rudy Kouhoupt.

One of the first large donations to the Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum was the collection of famed model engine builder Rudy Kouhoupt. Rudy’s niece, Susan Alvaro, was kind enough to donate his entire lifetime engine collection for display at the grand opening of the museum in 2006. After retiring as a chemist, Rudy had a second career building engines and writing magazine articles documenting the process. Many people have built his models, but we have the honor of displaying all of his original prototypes. Rudy’s collection includes scale model engines, locomotives, tractors and more. Additionally, thirteen of Rudy’s model steam engines are hooked up to run on compressed air to demonstrate their function. 

This mechanical stroboscope uses a shutter type aperture to make rapid movement appear to slow down or stand still.

Exhibit added: May 20, 2006 - Last modified: June 6, 2024

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship