Green Mercury Barometer

Nicolas Fortin, an instrument maker in Paris in the early nineteenth century, introduced a mercury barometer with a glass and leather cistern so designed that the barometer could be safely moved from one place to another. James Green began making Fortin-type barometers for the Smithsonian in the 1850s, though with a slightly different design to the cistern. This example marked “Henry J. Green, New York” was made between 1885, when James Green retired and his nephew began trading under his own name, and 1890 when Henry J. Green moved to Brooklyn.
Ref: “Directions for Meteorological Observations,” in Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections 19 (1860): 54-62.
"Green's Standard Barometer," in Henry J. Green, Meteorological and Scientific Instruments (Brooklyn, 1900), pp. 4-6.
C.F. Marvin, Barometers and the Measurement of Atmospheric Pressure (Washington, D.C., 1894).
Currently not on view
date made
H. J. Green
place made
United States: New York, New York
overall: 110.5 cm x 7 cm; 43 1/2 in x 2 3/4 in
overall: 43 1/2 in x 2 3/4 in; 110.49 cm x 6.985 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
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Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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