Negretti & Zambra Recording Thermometer

Negretti & Zambra introduced this type of instrument in 1874. The stem is U-shaped, with a small bend above the cylindrical bulb. In use, the thermometer would be hung with the bulb down. Rotating it one full turn would cause the mercury in the first half of the tube to flow into the second half, thereby recording the temperature at that moment. In use, it might be connected to a clock that would invert it at a selected time.
In this example, the mercury-in-glass thermometer is mounted on an ebony plate marked "NEGRETTI & ZAMBRA LONDON" and "RECORDING THERMOMETER." A white porcelain strip on the plate is marked "NEGRETTI & ZAMBRA'S PATENT. LONDON" and graduated every 5 degrees Fahrenheit from 0 to 125. A second graduation runs from -5 to +120. The side of the stem nearer the bulb is marked "Negretti & Zambra's Patent" and "62" and graduated (but not numbered) every degree Fahrenheit from -5 to +125. The other side is graduated (but not numbered) every degree from -5 to +120.
Ref: Negretti & Zambra, Encyclopaedic Illustrated and Descriptive Catalogue (London, after 1878), pp. 101-103.
Currently not on view
Object Name
recording thermometer
Negretti & Zambra
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Measuring & Mapping
U.S. Weather Bureau
Thermometers and Hygrometers
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Thermometers and Hygrometers
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
U.S. Weather Bureau

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