Accession No

2236


Brief Description

Liege / Dutch water barometer (’Donderglas’, aka thunder-glass), 1700-1800 (c)


Origin

Netherlands


Maker


Class

meteorology


Earliest Date

Jan. 1, 1700


Latest Date

Dec. 31, 1800


Inscription Date


Material

glass


Dimensions

length 264mm; breadth 105mm; height 95mm


Special Collection


Provenance

Purchased from H. Wynter. Purchased with the assistance of a grant-in-aid administered by the Science Museum. From the collection of Greppin.R 1899-1969.


Inscription


Description Notes

Liege / Dutch water barometer (’Donderglas’, aka thunder-glass), 1700-1800 (c).

Glass (lacking glass suspension loop at the top), reservoir shaped like an ovoid, elongated at the top with the back flattened. Circular knob at the top and bottom. Maximum width 100 mm, max depth 60 mm. Four decorative strips of glass applied to the reservoir, one on the limb. The decoration has protuberances pinched out of the glass at approx. 15 mm intervals. Raised indicator marks on body and spout.


References


Events

Description
The ‘weather glass’ or ‘water barometer’ has been made in the district around the Belgian city of Liege since the seventeenth century. In use, the pear-shaped vessel was half-filled with water and suspended by a string; changes in air pressure acting on the water level in the spout caused the level in the vessel to rise or fall. In practice, however, the water would expand in warm weather, so the changes in level were due to a combination of pressure and temperature.

Local glass-workers excelled in decorating these glasses with all sorts of glass buttons or (as here) pinches, which acted as a sort of scale. These glasses are still made today, though they are now seen to be ornamental rather than of scientific value.

26/03/2008
Created by: Dr. Anita McConnell on 26/03/2008


FM:43440

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