One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Electricity. An instrument for detecting the existence of an electric current; a means of detecting a current. Now historical and rare.
2Physics. An instrument for observing the effects of shear on particles, especially red blood cells.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Charles Wheatstone (1802–1875), developer of telegraphy. From rheo- + -scope.
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