Rain gauge evaporator

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Postcard of Rain gauge evaporator.
© National Museums Scotland

Rain gauge evaporator

This is an evaporator, used alongside an improved form of rain gauge, which measures the amount of rainfall and moisture evaporation at sea. This example is of a type used on the 'Scotia' during the Scottish National Antarctic expedition of 1902-4. The amount of moisture is measured in glasses kept in a separate container.

The evaporator is filled with between one and two inches of water, covered by a louvre to keep out rain and birds, but free to allow diffusion of water vapour and wind. The amount of water within is measured each day, and compared with a rain gauge of similar diameter (not shown here). The temperature of the surrounding water and air is also taken.

Surgeon Major William Galt Black (died 1909) studied at the University of Edinburgh before joining the Army medical service. His frequent voyages all over the Empire turned his attention to meteorology, particularly to making observations at sea, for which he improved a number of specialised instruments. Some of these were used on the 'Scotia' expedition.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-180-001-178-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.1910.80
Date: Around 1900
c. 1900
Material: Glass
Dimensions: 6.00" D
What: Specimen / meteorological instrument / evaporator / box / measur
Subject: 10. METEOROLOGY (Departmental Classification)
Description: One of a group of meteorological instruments - an evaporator supported on gimbals, for marine use, with one measuring glass in a separate box
  • For Black, see his obituary in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 36 (1910), p 254 
  • For the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition, see R.N. Rudmose-Brown et al., The Voyage of the 'Scotia': being the Record of a Voyage of Exploration in Antarctic Seas, Edinburgh: 1906 
  • W.G. Black, On a floating rain gauge and evaporator' Transactions of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts 13 (1894), pp 216-8. 
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