Lorenz Hengler

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Lorenz Hengler (3 February 1806 – 1858) was a Catholic priest who is often credited as the inventor of the horizontal pendulum.


Hengler was born in Reichenhofen, Württemberg. At the age of fourteen he entered the Latin School of Leutkirch and attended successively those of Ehingen and Tübingen. In 1828 he studied mathematics and astronomy at Munich. It was at this place, and while a pupil of Franz von Gruithuisen, that he invented the horizontal pendulum, which has been used in many seismographs. In 1832 he published this invention in Gruithuisen's Analecta, together with some experiments he had made. In 1835 he was ordained in Rottenburg and was pastor of Tigerfeld at the time of his death in Tigerfeld. He left an elaborate telescope unfinished. Others have attributed the invention of the horizontal pendulum to Johann Karl Friedrich Zöllner (1869), and some to Perrot (1862). A full description of the pendulum and its history may be found in Zollner's Abhandlungen, vol. IV, and also in Johann Poggendorff's Annals.

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 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Lawrence Hengler" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.