Antique 19th Century Italian Gold Gilded Barometer, rich in gilt detailed carving, with new interior barometer work. H:36" W:15". The history of the word barometer was derived from the Greek word "baros", meaning weight, and the Greek word "metron", meaning measure. The barometer, an instrument used to measure air pressure and it was in early 17th century Italy there were many Italian scientist independently working on the principal's of a vacuum and air pressure, however, it was a young scientist by the name of Evangelista Torricelli that first detailed his experiments with what became known as the barometer. The barometer utilizes the principal of a vacuum to measure the weight of the air. For a simple explanation of a vacuum,such as an example just consider your everyday use of a straw to sip water. The illustration of the premise is with your sucking, which removes the air out of the top of the straw, causes a vacuum near the top of the straw, and with the help of the outside air pressure, the water rises within the straw to fill this partial vacuum. Even if you stop sucking on the straw, the liquid will not fall as long as you maintain a seal of this partial vacuum at the top of the straw. It has been noted that the first publicized working barometer, dating back to 1643, has been credited to Evangelista Torricelli. Torricelli had been familiar with, and studied the writings of Galileo, just before Galileo's untimely death in 1642, and used those findings to help him construct the first barometer. Though Galileo is recognized as the first to experiment with a water type vacuum apparatus in early 1642, his primary objective was to simply ratify the "vacuum theory", and he did not extrapolate his findings to deduct that changes in the weather correspondingly caused air pressure fluctuations. Torricelli was first to notice that air pressure changes, related to weather changes, indeed caused the water level to rise and fall. Then later around 1670 that the new marketeers of barometers began producing and selling barometers as a weather instrument to be used in private homes. By the latter part of the 17th century many clock makers, furniture makers, and opticians began to become involved with detailed and magnificent ornate cabinetry and designs of these newly relished barometers. Historically, it was that for the next two hundred years, the mercury barometer became in vogue and to possess one was the symbol of great nobility. Apparently being in vogue there were records indicating over 3,500 registered barometer makers between 1670 and 1900. Today, it is a rarity to even discover a working mercury type barometer, as most were destroyed or replaced by the current day "aneroid type" barometer. Around the year 1840, a Frenchman by the name of Lucien Vidie introduced the first mechanical, or aneroid barometer, which replaced the use of mercury with a metal vacuum disc, with mechanical arms and a pointer, to measure the air pressure. Aneroids became increasingly popular due to their lower cost and their ease of transporting them from location to location. They eventually replaced mercury type barometers by about 1900. The Italian Barometer is a fine example of carved gilt floral designed case.
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