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Barometer Styles

 
 
 

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marine barometer Barometers are scientific instruments that predict changing weather patterns.  But in addition to this useful quality, barometers are also collector's items that come in several different styles.

The first barometers, called stick barometers, were invented during the 1700s.  Stick barometers, which were very simple in design, had a column of mercury that registered the reading and changes in pressure mounted in a simple case with an engraved or paper scale.  A marine barometer is a type of stick barometer fitted with gimbals and a constricted tube to minimize oscillations in the mercury.

antique barometer Wheel barometers were in fashion from 1770 to 1800.  This type of barometer has a round register plat and siphon tube, in which the mercury movement is measured by a weight attached to a pulley whose wheel turns the pointer on the dial.  Wheel barometers were traditionally made by the best engravers and cabinetmakers, and often showcased fine inlays.  Wheel barometers have almost a banjo shape, and were sometimes called banjo barometers, with the column of mercury mounted in carved or inlaid wood above an elaborate, round, register plate.

During the Victorian period, an eccentric fellow named Admiral Fitzroy developed a barometer that displayed atmospheric pressure and weather information in a convenient, easily-read form.  Fitzroy barometers vary in terms of how elaborate they are, and some have Gothic or carved detailing.  Fitzroy barometers are considered the predecessor of our modern weather forecasting system.

The aneroid barometer was invented in 1845.  This type of barometer uses an evacuated sealed chamber instead of mercury to measure air pressure.  Aneroid barometers are pocket-sized or larger, and were often carved.

internal workings of a barometer

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Barometer Styles - Collectible Barometers