In the event of a government shutdown, American History will remain OPEN through at least Saturday, October 7, by using prior year funds. Visit for updates.

Hough Recording Thermometer

Hough Recording Thermometer

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
George Washington Hough (1836-1909) was an astronomer who served as director of the Dudley Observatory in Albany, New York, from 1862 to 1874, and as director of the Dearborn Observatory in Chicago from 1879 until his death.
While at the Dudley Observatory, Hough devised a recording thermometer, a recording barometer, and an anemograph. This example of his recording thermometer contains six iron rods and five brass rods, and their differential expansion controls a marking pen. The instrument is not dated, but inside it is a piece of paper from the New York Times of March 12, 1860.
Ref: W. E. K. Middleton, Catalog of Meteorological Instruments in the National Museum of History and Technology (Washington, D.C., 1969), p. 50.
“The Registering Barometer and Thermometer,” New York Daily Tribune (Feb. 17, 1866), p. 9.
“George Washington Hough,” The Astrophysical Journal 30 (1909): 68.
Currently not on view
Object Name
recording thermometer
date made
place made
United States: New York, Albany
overall: 21 1/4 in x 8 3/4 in x 5 5/8 in; 53.975 cm x 22.225 cm x 14.2875 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Dudley Observatory
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.

Note: Comment submission is temporarily unavailable while we make improvements to the site. We apologize for the interruption. If you have a question relating to the museum's collections, please first check our Collections FAQ. If you require a personal response, please use our Contact page.