There are a number of ways to measure the magnitude of an earthquake. The first widely-used method, the Richter scale, was developed by Charles F. Richter in 1934. It used a formula based on amplitude of the largest wave recorded on a specific type of seismometer and the distance between the earthquake and the seismometer. That scale was specific to California earthquakes; other scales, based on wave amplitudes and total earthquake duration, were developed for use in other situations and they were designed to be consistent with Richter’s scale.