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Albert Piche, in Paris, described this simple instrument in 1872, and the Signal Service was soon using evaporimeters to determine the rate of evaporation in different parts of the United States. An account from 1888 mentions "an inverted graduated test-tube filled with water, its mouth closed by a disk of filter paper held by a spring." In this example, the evaporimeter (probably an improved version designed by Charles F. Marvin of the U.S. Weather Bureau) is enclosed in a copper box on iron legs.
An evaporimeter is also known as an atmometer.
Ref.: "Exhibition of the New England Meteorological Society," American Meteorological Journal 5 (1888): 443.
"Improved Piche Evaporimeter," in H. J. Green, Scientific Instruments. Catalog C (Brooklyn, n.d.), p.15.
Currently not on view
Object Name
overall: 16 7/8 in x 9 1/4 in x 9 1/8 in; 42.8625 cm x 23.495 cm x 23.1775 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
U.S. Weather Bureau
U.S. Weather Bureau
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Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Thermometers and Hygrometers
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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