B. Pike Jr., Mason's Hygrometer

This instrument consists of wet and dry bulb thermometers with a liquid vial (missing in this instance) in between, mounted on a wooden board marked "MASON'S HYGROMETER" and "B. PIKE JR. 294 BROADWAY, NEW YORK." The scales for the thermometers are on the board. That for the dry-bulb thermometer is graduated every degree Fahrenheit from 0 to +135. That for the wet-bulb thermometer is graduated every degree Fahrenheit from -5 to +145.
John Abraham Mason, an English surgeon, described the form in 1836. Benjamin Pike Jr., a leading purveyor of instruments in New York between 1843 and 1864, said that the use of an instrument of this sort "in the sick chamber will be at once evident, as a fire kept up in a closed room naturally dries the air which the patient has to breathe."
Ref: John Abraham Mason, "Description of a New Hygrometer," Records of General Science 4 (1836): 23-35 and 96-111.
B. Pike Jr., Illustrated, Descriptive Catalogue of Optical, Mathematical and Philosophical Instruments (New York, 1856), vol. 2, pp. 135-138.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Mason's hygrometer
date made
B. Pike, Jr.
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
John William Christopher Draper and James Christopher Draper

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