Barometer (detail), made by George Adams

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made in London

Postcard of Barometer (detail), made by George Adams.
© National Museums Scotland

Barometer (detail), made by George Adams

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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Online ID: 000-180-000-293-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0504: National Museums Scotland Part 2
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  
Date: Around 1780
  • For domestic barometers by Adams, see Goodison, N. English barometers 1680-1860. Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1977, pp 126-129, plates 25 and 26. 
  • For the Adams business, see Millburn, J.R. Adams of Fleet Street: Instrument Makers to King George III. Aldeshot, 2000. 
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