H. J. Green Minimum Thermometer

This alcohol-in-glass Rutherford-type thermometer is mounted on a grooved metal plate that is marked "H. J. GREEN B'KLYN, N.Y." and "No. 8727 U.S. WEATHER BUREAU" and "MINIMUM" and graduated every 5 degrees F. from -30 to +110. The stem is graduated every degree Fahrenheit from -39 to +110.
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."
Ref.: Henry J. Green, Meteorological and Scientific Instruments (Brooklyn, 1900), p. 23.
Currently not on view
Object Name
minimum thermometer
date made
H. J. Green
tube: 10 1/2 in; 26.67 cm
plate: 10 in; 25.4 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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