Fagioli Mercury Wheel Barometer

Invented by Robert Hooke in 1663, the “wheel” or “banjo” barometer has a tube that is bent into a J shape; a float, sitting on the shorter end of the tube, connects with a circular scale that is large and easily read. Barometers of this sort have long been popular for domestic use. This example is marked “D. Fagioli & Son, 39 Warner St Clerkenwell” and was made in London, perhaps in the 1840s. The dial reads from 28 to 31 inches of mercury. In addition to the barometer itself, there is a twisted gut hygrometer, a spirit thermometer, and a convex mirror. The Taylor Instrument companies donated it to the Smithsonian in 1923.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1839-1854
Dominic Fagioli & Son
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
overall: 37 1/2 in x 10 3/8 in x 2 5/16 in; 95.25 cm x 26.3525 cm x 5.87375 cm
overall in box: 9 1/4 in x 44 1/4 in x 17 1/4 in; 23.495 cm x 112.395 cm x 43.815 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Taylor Instrument Companies
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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