J. & H. J. Green Minimum Thermometer

This is an alcohol-in-glass Rutherford-type thermometer that is mounted on a brass plate marked "J. & H. J. GREEN NEW YORK" and "YALE MIN. STD. MAY 1881. CORNING GLASS, SQUIBBS ETHER" and "SIGNAL SERVICE U.S. ARMY No. 3." The plate is graduated every 5 degrees F. from 0 to +250. The back of the stem is milk white. The clear front is graduated (but not numbered) every degree from 0 to +250.
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
J. & H. J. Green
overall: 13 1/2 in; 34.29 cm
place made
United States: New York, New York
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Measuring & Mapping
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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