Case (detail), housing barometer

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made in Edinburgh

Postcard of Case (detail), housing barometer.
© National Museums Scotland

Case (detail), housing barometer

This is a detail of a wooden case housing an special barometer without mercury, also known as a sympiesometer. The barometer was made around 1825, probably by Alexander Adie (1775-1858), a scientific instrument maker based in Edinburgh.

On the back of the case, in ink, are the words 'Capt Robertson/Monarch/Capt. A. Paterson's/Ship Glass/ China 1843/Repaired by 'Adie' Edinr. 1st Oct 1889/579'.

Robert Hooke devised the first barometer without mercury in the 1660s. Adie's design was developed especially for use at sea and it seems this particular example was well-travelled.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-190-001-047-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1967.99
Date: Around 1825
c. 1825
Material: Glass fronted wooden case, silvered face, purple fluid in glass tube, mercury in glass thermometer. Inscription: PATENT / A. ADIE / EDINBURGH / No. 579 // Spencer Browning / & Rust / Agents / London //; Capt Robertson / Monarch // Capt A. Paterson's / Shi
Dimensions: 24.50" H
What: Sympiesometer
Subject: 10. METEOROLOGY (Departmental Classification)
Who: A. Adie, Edinburgh (Maker)
Captain A. Paterson (Inscribed on the Sympiesometer)
Robertson (Inscribed on the Sympiesometer)
Spencer, Browning & Rust (Inscribed on the Sympiesometer)
Where: China
Scotland, Midlothian, Edinburgh
Description: Sympiesometer for meteorology, patented in 1818, by Alexander Adie, Edinburgh, c. 1825
  • Adie, Alexander 'Description of the Patent Sympiesometer or New Air Barometer'. Edinburgh Philosophical Journal 1. 1819 pp 54-60 
  • Middleton, W E Knowles. The History of the Barometer. Baltimore, 1964. pp 378-81 
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