Minimum Thermometer

Description
This Rutherford-type alcohol-in-glass thermometer has a cylindrical bulb, black dumbbell index, and double tube. The back of the tube is marked “Patent No. 4434” and [symbol of the Kew Observatory] and “10085” and “No. 84120.” The front of the tube carries a scale that extends from -25 to +130 graduated in degrees Fahrenheit. A milk-white plate inside the tube facilitates reading.
The referenced British patent, issued to James Webster of London in late 1875, described a clinical thermometer enclosed in a transparent glass tube designed to protect “the divisions, figures, and markings from injury or obliteration.” This example was probably made in Britain, and probably designed for meteorological or chemical use. It came to the Smithsonian from the U.S. Weather Bureau.
Ref.: Great Britain Patent Office, Chronological and Descriptive Index of Patents Applied For (London 1876), p. 926.
Great Britain Patent Office, Abridgements of Specifications. Class 92 (London, 1904), p. 125.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
thermometer
date made
1875-1900
Measurements
overall: 12 1/2 in; 31.75 cm
ID Number
PH*317469
catalog number
317469
accession number
230396
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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