Crustal deformation has been considered in past and present times as a powerful tool in understanding seismogenetic processes. In 1870 Timoteo Bertelli began the first elementary observations using a vertical pendulum and a magnifying lens; after some improvements, he named this apparatus a tromometer. As a consequence of his collaboration with Michele Stefano de Rossi, begun in 1873, Bertelli defined the standard tromometer as a pendulum of 150 cm in length and 100 g of mass. Its horizontal shifts and oscillations were observed through a microscope tube and a prism. The great simplicity and economy of construction made this instrument...

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