Thermoscope used by Joseph Black

< 1 of 1 > Back
Postcard of Thermoscope used by Joseph Black.
© National Museums Scotland

Thermoscope used by Joseph Black

A thermoscope show is an instrument which shows changes in temperature by the expansion and contraction of air in a bulb causing the fall or rise of a liquid in the attached capillary tube. This example was used in demonstrations by Professor T. C. Hope (1766-1844) at Edinburgh University. It was made in the early 19th century and is unsigned.

The instrument has two glass spheres, one green, one clear, on each end of a glass capillary tube. The tube is supported in a groove cut in a wooden base and fastened by two leather pieces. It contains a dark fluid, possibly coloured sulphuric acid.

T. C. Hope, like his predecessor, Joseph Black, was an inspiring teacher who attracted large numbers of students to his classes. However, it was reckoned that his failure to encourage practical work and research from 1823, led to the decline of Edinburgh from its leading position in Europe as a centre for the study of chemistry.

Record details

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

Online ID: 000-190-002-049-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1858.275.10.A
Date: Early 19th century
What: Thermometer, double registering
Who: Adie, Edinburgh (Thermometer maker)
Edinburgh University (Owner)
Joseph Black (Possible owner)
Professor Gregory (Possible owner)
Professor Hope (Possible owner)
Where: Scotland, Midlothian, Edinburgh
Description: One of a collection of apparatus and instruments from Edinburgh University used by Professors Black, Hope and Gregory - a double registering thermometer, early form, by Adie, Edinburgh
  • Anderson, R. G. W., The Playfair Collection. Edinburgh: 1978, pp 35-45, 88-90 
Related Records:
< 1 of 1 > Back
Powered by Scran