< 1 of 1 > Back

made in Edinburgh

Postcard of Barometer.
© National Museums Scotland


A ballooning barometer is one that is capable of registering the low pressures and temperatures found at high altitudes to which a balloon might ascend. This example has a barometric scale which reads from 20.5 inches to 32 inches, and the thermometer runs from -20 to 110 degrees Fahernheit. It has the usual Fortin-type cistern with glass window and ivory point for setting the mercury level, but the extreme length of its scale implies that it was used aeronautically, where the pressure drops with height.

The barometer contains a mercury column within a glass tube, which is protected by a robust cast iron exterior. The Fortin-type cistern means that it is extremely portable, and the extreme length of its scale demonstrates that this was used for scientific purposes at high altitudes.

Adie & Son of Edinburgh supplied instruments to Patrick Adie (Alexander Adie's youngest son), who started up in business in London in 1846, and who had close connections with John Welsh at Kew Observatory. Indeed, Adie was involved with balloon flights for meteorological purposes with Welsh in 1852, and his instruments were used ten years later by James Glaisher and George Coxwell, who carried out balloon ascents for the purposes of scientific research.

Record details

To search on related items, click any linked text below.

Online ID: 000-180-000-973-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 1850
  • 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. 
Related Records:
< 1 of 1 > Back
Powered by Scran