Unique Spinneys Barophain Barometer c1924
Barophain barometer having 4″ silvered and machine engraved indicator dial, the upper part marked “Barometric Tendency,” ” Fall” and “Rise,” the central section marked vertically for wind direction and bounded to the left and right with ten weather predictions. The lower part marked “Spinney’s Barophain for N.W. Europe.” Long tapered blued steel pointer with restraining stops at base. The movement constructed in alloy and steel comprising a delicately set pivot bar coupled to opposing thermo-sensitive coils raised on four columns and influenced by an eight capsule pressure sensor mounted on a bevelled chassis marked “Pat Appd For.”
All contained within a japanned oak case with glazed opening door to front, the inside base with hand-written label stating “Finger must be perfectly balanced” and initialled by the maker “R.D.S., 1.8.24.”
Despite extensive research, there appears to be no trace of R.D. Spinney nor of any similar instruments. We therefore assume this to be a very interesting and well thought out unique prototype, and a well constructed instrument developed at a time when there were few weather forecasting instruments available other than those marketed by Negretti & Zambra. This instrument, dating from 1924, proceeds the introduction of broadcasted weather forecasts by one year, which may have been the reason why it did not reach production in any quantity, essentially obsolete at its inception. This follows the pattern of production of Negretti & Zambra’s various forecasting instruments which also faced a substantial decline in sales at the time.
Actually very easy to interpret, wind direction is the only factor required, so with the pointer leaning to the right indicating “Rise” and a southerly wind, you might “Expect” “Fine summer mist; Winter fog if clear; or Showers if clouds low.”
The instrument has been checked, conserved and serviced. Observation over this period suggests it to be working correctly. Overall, condition is good and entirely original, losses to dial, some discolouration and oxidation to the chassis and mechanism, the oak case with minor marks, the backing slightly warped.
Though not the product of a known maker, this is a really quite important and original piece. It is a reflection upon the times when the desire for accuracy and availability of good weather predictions was at fever pitch – that perhaps has not changed!
A unique opportunity to acquire a real piece of meteorological history. Very much for the collector.
Dimensions: 10″ high x 5″ wide x 3¼” deep
Stock No: BG0743
Price: Vavasseur Archive