Recording Rain Gauge

Recording Rain Gauge

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Sterling Price Fergusson (1868-1959) was born in Tennessee and at age 21, despite the lack of much formal education, became an instrument maker and observer at the Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory in Milton, Mass. In the years 1916-1931, he served as meteorologist in charge of the Instrumental Testing Laboratories of the U.S. Weather Bureau. He then returned to Blue Hill and remained there until the end of World War II.
One Fergusson invention was rain gauge that recorded weight rather than volume. The first example was dated 1888. This example of his improved version was made after 1880 by Julien P. Friez & Sons, Baltimore MD. The U.S. Army Signal Corps transferred it to the Smithsonian in 1923.
Ref: S. P. Fergusson, “Improved Gages for Precipitation,” Monthly Weather Review 49 (1921): 379-386.
“Sterling Price Fergusson,” Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 41 (1960): 224, 233.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Recording Rain Gauge
Julien P. Friez & Sons, Inc.
place made
United States: Maryland, Baltimore
overall: 69 cm x 29 cm x 29 cm; 27 5/32 in x 11 13/32 in x 11 13/32 in
overall; instrument body: 26 3/4 in x 11 5/8 in x 11 5/8 in; 67.945 cm x 29.5275 cm x 29.5275 cm
overall; rain catcher: 11 5/8 in x 9 1/4 in; 29.5275 cm x 23.495 cm
overall; chart holder: 6 5/8 in x 4 in; 16.8275 cm x 10.16 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
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Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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