Newman Mercury Barometer

In May 1855, the Smithsonian bought a “Standard Barometer” from John Frederick Newman for $129.42 (or, £20 plus packing). This is that instrument. Marked “I. Newman, 122 Regent Street, London,” it was designed to be portable and accurate. Rather than bringing the cistern up to a point attached to the bottom of the scale, Newman provided a mechanism for bringing the point down to touch the cistern. Newman barometers of this sort were sent to numerous observers throughout the British Empire.
Ref.: John Newman, “On a New Method of Constructing a Portable Barometer,” Report of the Third Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (1833): 417-418.
Currently not on view
date made
Newman, John Frederick
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
overall: 134 cm x 20 cm x 14 cm; 52 3/4 in x 7 7/8 in x 5 1/2 in
overall: 52 in x 7 5/8 in x 5 3/4 in; 132.08 cm x 19.3675 cm x 14.605 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog 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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