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possibly made in Leith

Postcard of Barometer.
© National Museums Scotland


This special barometer without mercury, also known as a sympiesometer, dates from around 1850. It was retailed by Richard Millar, an optician and clockmaker based in Leith, and may have been made locally.

The semicircular sympiesometer is combined with a semicircular mercury thermometer. The instrument is inscribed 'IMPROVED SYMPIESOMETER', perhaps as an attempt to evade patent restrictions.

Richard Millar is one of two possible people, father and son, who had a watch and clockmaking business in Edinburgh and Leith between 1814 and 1860. The younger Richard Millar took over the premises of a bankrupt Leith instrument retailer in 1852.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-102-873-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1992.49
Date: Around 1850
c. 1850
Material: Inscription: R. Millar, Leith
What: Sympiesometer / thermometer
Who: Richard Millar, Leith (Optician)
Where: Scotland, Midlothian, Edinburgh, Leith
Description: Circular, combined improved sympiesometer and thermometer, signed by Richard Millar, Optician, Leith, c. 1850
  • Delehar, P., 'Market Place', Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society, No. 36 (1993), pp 29-30 
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