Green Mercury Barometer

Nicolas Fortin, an instrument maker in Paris in the early nineteenth century, introduced a mercury barometer with a glass and leather cistern so designed that the barometer could be safely moved from one place to another. James Green began making Fortin-type barometers for the Smithsonian in the 1850s, though with a slightly different design to the cistern. This example marked “HENRY J. GREEN B'KLYN, N.Y.” was made after 1890 James Green's nephew and successor moved to Brooklyn.
Ref: "Green's Standard Barometer," in Henry J. Green, Meteorological and Scientific Instruments (Brookly, 1900), pp. 4-6.
C.F. Marvin, (Washington, D.C., 1894).
Currently not on view
date made
H. J. Green
place made
United States: New York, Brooklyn
overall: 43 3/8 in x 2 7/8 in; 110.1725 cm x 7.3025 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
U.S. Naval Observatory
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Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Data Source
National Museum of American History


"I am very possibly the last living employee of Henry J. Green Instrument Company, which was founded in 1832 by James Green. As a teenager in the mid sixties I worked at their plant in Westbury, N.Y. They had moved from Brooklyn in 1959. My father was the general manager. I even knew one of the owners, who's last name was Weygand.. I understand he was a part owner in 1912. I packed hundreds of rain gages that were destined for the Kansas City depot. I filled up many a tube of mercury for the Fortin type barometers. Today, I own my own company, which is a manufacturing job shop. I actually continue the tradition of making weather instruments. I make the Adirondack snow density gage, which HJ Green used to make.My company's name is Gamma Instruments. I had a detailed history of the company as well as mid sixties catalogs. I have been looking for them for years. Hopefully, they will turn up one day."

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