I bought this in england several years ago with the intention of restoring it to its original glory. If you have read just about any history of barometers and weather forecasting, you will probably have come across this type of instrument. It was revolutionary in its day and is truly a classic design. I won’t bother retelling the story of admiral fitzroy and the design for the coastal or fisheries barometers for public use, as there are plenty of accounts out there by philip collins, edwin banfield and others.
There’s even an article by a lady from the london school of economics about these instruments. What i will do here is list what is present, and what is missing. I would not recommend this as a project for beginners. The most recent sale of one of these that i can find was a couple of years ago in the uk, and the price realized was equivalent to $6,000.
All of the woodwork for this barometer is present. It is oak, free of rot or woodworm, and in good condition for its age (150 yrs old) all of the wood parts are stamped with a symbol containing the letters i, l, and o and what appears to be a small weather vane.
The number 9 is also stamped beside each of these marks. The adjusting plate mechanism which pushes against the leather diaphragm at the bottom of the cistern is present and working. The vernier , rack and mechanism to adjust the pointer beside the scale are present and functional. The glass cover for the scales is present, as are the brass plates at the top and bottom of the scales, and a ceramic nameplate marked “admiral fitzroy’s storm barometer” (see photos).
The brass hanging plate is present. There is a boxwood cistern with a screw on bottom, and a new leather diaphragm ready to be cut and installed. There is a glass cane or mercury tube which is not attached to the cistern.
There may have been some repair done in the past. (see photo) this will need some attention. The major missing items are the side plates which carry the scales to read the height of the mercury column. These would originally have been either ceramic, or porcelain coated steel.
The other missing item is the large thermometer and the box in which it would have been mounted on the front of the barometer. And it is shown in one of the photographs. The original thermometer would have been the mercury in glass type with a scale of 8 degrees f per inch.
This is not for beginners. I do not know the maker of this instrument.
The most famous maker of these was negretti and zambra, but without the side plates which is where the maker’s name would appear, more research is needed.
The item “Antique Fitzroy Coastal/Fisheries/Storm Barometer for restoration” is in sale since Monday, February 17, 2014. This item is in the category “Antiques\Science & Medicine (Pre-1930)\Scientific Instruments\Barometers”. The seller is “ton88macd” and is located in Austin, Texas. This item can only be shipped to United States.