Barometer (detail)

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made in London

Postcard of Barometer (detail).
© National Museums Scotland

Barometer (detail)

This photograph shows a detail of the signature on a Kew Pattern barometer made in London around 1900. The signature, which is up one side of the scale on the instrument reads: 'M.O. [Meteorological Office] 891 ADIE. LONDON.'

The main problem with the barometer at sea was oscillation of the mercury in the glass tube, caused by the motion of the ship. In rough seas, the weight of the mercury could break the glass. The Kew Committee of the British Association developed a marine barometer at the Kew Observatory in 1855. The tube was constricted for most of its length, and incorporated a Bunten airtrap below the narrow part. This prevented air destroying the vacuum.

Patrick Adie (1821-86) was one of the main suppliers of barometers to the Meteorological Office. After his death, his firm continued in this business up until World War II.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-180-000-959-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  T.1901.674
Date: Around 1900
c. 1870
What: Mechanics / physics / botany / physiology / specimen / barometer
Subject: 10. METEOROLOGY (Departmental Classification)
Who: Adie, London (Maker)
Kew (Eponym)
Where: England, London
Description: Barometer, Kew pattern, part of a collection of models and specimens illustrating mechanics, the different branches of physics, botany and physiology
  • For Patrick Adie see Clarke, T.N., A.D. Morrison-Low and A.D.C. Simpson. Brass & Glass: Scientific Instrument Making Workshops in Scotland. Edinburgh, 1989, pp 75-82. 
  • Middleton, W.E.K. The History of the Barometer. Baltimore, 1964, pp 165-6. 
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