Green Mercury Barometer

When Joseph Henry decided to organize a weather service under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution, he commissioned James Green to make instruments suitable for distribution around the country. This portable barometer, marked "Smithsonian Inst'n, Jas. Green, N.Y. 358," may be one of that sort. And it may have been made in 1849, shortly after Green moved from Baltimore to New York.
This example has a sliding vernier operated by a head screw at the top of the tube, a Fahrenheit thermometer in the side of the tube, and a thumb screw that adjusts the volume of the cistern.
Ref.: Smithsonian Institution Annual Report for the Year 1850, p. 17.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1849
Green, James
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
iron (overall material)
overall: 37 in x 2 in; 93.98 cm x 5.08 cm
overall: 36 3/4 in x 2 in; 93.345 cm x 5.08 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Smithsonian Institution
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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