Water level

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probably made in Paris

Postcard of Water level.
© National Museums Scotland

Water level

This water level (pictured here with its fitted case) was made in 1774, probably by Louis-Pierre-Florimond Lennel, a scientific instrument maker based in Paris.

The instrument has two vertical glass tubes at either end of a brass tube. A horizontal level is obtained when two connected columns of a liquid, in this case water, find the same level.

The water level may well have been used in the French National Survey, as its leather case carries the official fleur-de-lys stamp.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-104-248-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1973.72
Date: 1774
Material: Leather case
What: Water level / case
Subject: 5. CARTOGRAPHY, Surveying (Departmental Classification)
Who: E. Lennel, Paris (Maker)
Where: France, Paris
Description: Water level, in a leather case, signed by E. Lennel of Paris, 1774
  • Bennett, J.A. The Divided Circle: A history of instruments for astronomy, navigation and surveying. Oxford: 1987, p 87 
  • For Lennel, see Daumas, M. Scientific Instruments of the 17th and 18th Centuries and their Makers. London: 1972, pp 262 & 332, and Augarde, Jean-Dominique, 'La fabrication des instruments scientifiques du XVIIIe siecle et la corporation des fondeurs' in B 
  • Wynter, H. & Turner, Anthony, Scientific Instruments. London: 1973, p 158 
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