Hicks Solar Radiation Thermometer

This mercury-in-glass thermometer has a blackened bulb. The scale extends from -20 to +200 degrees Fahrenheit, and is graduated by degrees and marked every 10 degrees. The stem is marked "No. 30 Patent 3647." This refers to the British patent for “Testing vacuum of solar thermometer” that was issued to J.J. Hicks, a meteorological instrument maker in London, in 1873. The surrounding glass container is marked "J. CALL New York."
This may have been used by John William Draper, an American polymath who received the Rumford Prizein in 1875 for his long-standing work on solar radiation. It may also have been used by his son, Daniel Draper, a noted meteorologist.
Ref: James J. Hicks, Illustrated & Descriptive Catalogue of Standard, Self-Recording, and Other Meteorological Instruments (London, about 1874), pp. 60-61.
Currently not on view
Object Name
solar radiation thermometer
date made
Hicks, J. J.
overall: 16 in; 40.64 cm
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
United States: New York, New York
ID Number
catalog number
accession 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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