We used two independent, pulsed, range-gated, ultrasonic, Doppler blood velocity meters to record blood velocities in the aorta and a peripheral artery in 32 normal subjects aged 8 to 62 years. Aortic signals were obtained from an unfocussed transducer in the suprasternal notch using a 2.25 MHz instrument. Simultaneous tracings were obtained from the radial or posterior tibial artery using an 8 MHz instrument. The audio Doppler signals were subjected to spectral analysis and mean velocity was calculated at 5 ms intervals during 11 successive heart beats at each site. The increase in mean velocity at the start of systole in the aorta followed a linear pattern for the first 45 ms of ejection in two thirds of the beats, irrespective of the age or size of the subject. A similar linear velocity increase in early systole was seen in the peripheral arterial signals after a delay due to the time taken for the flow wave to pass to the periphery. Thus the constant acceleration seen in aortic blood velocity tracings is transmitted to peripheral arteries in an attenuated and delayed but undistorted form.