Luke Howard's measuring instruments
The rain gauge and the glass measuring cylinder, made by Richard & George Knight, 45 Foster Lane, Cheapside, London around 1818, are two of the earliest such instruments for measuring rainfall. The gauge consists of a glass bottle and copper funnel, as well as the measuring cylinder. They were commissioned by Luke Howard and mentioned in his book The Climate of London. Both instruments are in the Science Museum in London.
Barograph clock: measuring air pressure
Science Museum Press Release - 7 July 2016:
This exquisite Georgian clock becomes Science Museum's most precious acquisition. A rare Georgian clock, capable of recording changes in air pressure and used at the dawn of climate science has been acquired for the nation by the Science Museum.
Dated 1766, the barograph clock is one of only four of its type that highly-regarded London clockmaker Alexander Cumming is known to have constructed. It was used by renowned meteorologist Luke Howard to conduct some of the world’s first urban climate studies.
Luke Howard purchased the clock in 1814 and used it for observations of atmospheric pressure at his homes in London and Ackworth, a crucial project in the emergence of climate science. The data from the barograph traces, accompanied by notes on global weather events and descriptions of the clock, were published in the book Barometrographia in 1847. Howard's life's work has earned him the nickname 'the father of scientific meteorology'.
Inside the imposing 7ft 2in-high decorated case, thought to be made by famed London cabinet maker Thomas Chippendale, is a barograph mechanism used for measuring air pressure. The barograph comprises two tubes of mercury in which a float rises and falls as atmospheric pressure changes. This data is recorded on the clock dial, which rotates once a year.
Barograph clock in carved mahogany case
Luke Howard: The clock barometer stood in my house at Tottenham Green till the Third Month, 1828, when I removed it to my present residence at Ackworth.
"Nothing beats the marriage of an exquisite object and an enquiring mind.
We are delighted to have been able to save the barograph clock so that we can share
the story of Luke Howard’s contribution to climate science with future generations."
Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum Group