Meteorological Instruments on Display in the Library

BarometerImage of a Fortin Mercury Barometer

This Fortin Mercury barometer was made by Negretti and Zambra in England about 1900. It measures the pressure of the atmosphere by balancing it against the weight of a column of mercury. Means are available to raise or lower the level of the mercury in the cistern, which makes the instrument portable. This instrument was used by the topographic survey of Canada but was not in common use in the Meteorological Service.

MKT 1993

On loan from the Canadian Science & Technology Museum. Originally owned and used by the MSC.

Image of a hygrographHygrograph

This is a hair hygrograph made in England by Negretti and Zambra probably in the 1930s. Similar instruments were used at most Meteorological Service of Canada observing stations. Human hair, a hygro-scopic substance, changes in length proportionally to the relative humidity of the atmosphere. In the instrument, a bundle of hairs is linked to a pen-arm by which a continuous record of the relative humidity is left on a chart mounted on a clock-driven drum.

MKT 1993

On loan from the Canadian Science & Technology Museum. Originally owned and used by the MSC.

Image of a barographBarograph

The aneroid barograph has been used for many years at the observing stations of the Meteorological Service of Canada to reveal pressure tendency - that is the time rate of change of the atmospheric pressure. This instrument was probably made in the late 19th century. It consists of a metal partial- vacuum box linked to a spring to provide equilibrium. As the pressure changes a pen - arm provides a continuous record of the pressure on a chart mounted on a clock - driven drum.

MKT 1993

On loan from the Canadian Science & Technology Museum. Originally owned and used by the MSC.

Image of a ThermographThermograph

This thermograph was built by Short and Mason in England. The instrument has a bi-metallic temperature strip sensor which bends as the temperature changes. By means of a pen-arm, the strip deformation is translated into a continuous record of the temperature on a chart wrapped around a clock-driven drum. Instruments such as this werein general use at several Meteorological Service of Canada observing stations before World War II.

MKT 1993

On loan from the Canadian Science & Technology Museum. Originally owned and used by the MSC.

Image of a sunshine recorderSunshine recorder

The Campbell-Stokes sunshine recorder instrument records bright sunshine. The first such instrument was constructed in 1853 by J.F. Campbell in Scotland and modified by G.G. Stokes in 1879. The Meteorological Service of Canada began using this instrument in 1881. The radiant heat of the sun, concentrated by the spherical glass lens, burns a narrow track in a specially prepared card mounted below the lense in a portion of a spherical bowl. A low sun has feeble burning power so the number of possible hours of "bright sunshine" is less than the number of hours of "visible sunshine", the sunshine unit used in the United States

MKT

Image of a barometerBarometer

This handsome barometer was presented to the Atmospheric Environment Service (Meteorological Service of Canada) by the wife and daughter of James E. Percy, a meteorologist-instructor with the Training Branch who died on August 25, 1982. Jim Percy had been training operational meteorologists for a decade and after his death, his colleagues established a Jim Percy Synoptic Meteorology Award for the outstanding student each year.

MKT

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