H. J. Green Minimum Thermometer

This is an alcohol-in-glass, Rutherford-type thermometer. Its silvered brass plate is marked "H. J. GREEN B'KLYN. N.Y." and "U.S. WEATHER BUREAU" and "MINIMUM" and graduated every degree Fahrenheit from -90 to +110. The stem has similar graduations.
John Rutherford, a Scottish country doctor, devised this form in 1790. Green stated in 1900 that it was "the only one in general use." It has a black index inside the tube. "On a decrease of temperature the alcohol recedes, taking with it the glass index; on an increase of temperature the alcohol alone ascends the tube, leaving the end of the index farthest from the bulb indicating the minimum temperature."
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
after 1890
H. J. Green
tube: 13 in; 33.02 cm
plate: 12 in; 30.48 cm
place made
United States: New York, Brooklyn
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Thermometers and Hygrometers
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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