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Barometer (detail), made by George Adams

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made in London

Barometer (detail), made by George Adams
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This photograph shows a detail of the signature on a domestic mercury stick barometer made by George Adams in London around 1780. The signature at the top of the register plate reads: 'Geo. Adams Fleet Street London'.

The son of the elder man of the same name, the younger George Adams (1750-95) succeeded to the business and the royal appointment on his father's death in 1772. His workshop continued, as it had done under his father, to produce a wide variety of mathematical, optical and philosophical instruments, all of remarkable quality. Amongst items produced were barometers for the domestic market.

With the growth of the consumer society, amongst other goods which permeated down the social scale was furniture. An increasing demand for items at the luxury end of the market which had hitherto been the preserve of the aristocracy, led to an increase in the variety and price range of these goods. In 1784, for instance, Adams was advertising a range of barometers from 2 guineas to 5 guineas, and whereas this was beyond the purse of the average working man, it was reaching more of the middle classes than ever before.

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