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Short & Mason Drum Barograph Performance Chart

A very good mahogany and lacquered brass drum barograph or recording barometer by Short and Mason retailed by Ross, London c1920

Barograph of conventional pattern, the movement driven from an eight cell pressure sensing unit, assembled with pivoted cross shafts, drop links, counterbalance weight, and cross beams. Aluminium recording arm with vernier adjustment. 4½” open centred silvered and die struck barometer dial, the periphery with standard meteorological terms, the lower part signed by the retailer “Ross, London,” and carrying Short & Mason’s “Rd No 428606,” the barometric scale calibrated in inches of mercury with a range from 28” – 31”, divided down to 1/100th, rolled bezel and blued steel pointer. The dial raised on turned pillars over a short lacquered brass chassis with fluted boarders. Ink station with later bottle and dropper. Stand alone thermometer set on a celluloid register calibrated in degrees Fahrenheit, with a scale from 20° – 100°.

The recording drum marked serially no. “2885” with eight day movement, exposed and guarded platform escapement, the top plate struck “Patent 3715’02,” the lower plate struck with serial no. “2885,” captive key together with matching serially numbered base and sun wheel struck “2885.” Set for adhesive strip charts.

The whole presented on a mid-tone lacquered mahogany plinth with frieze drawer under. Lift off cover with five heavy bevelled glasses.

Condition: The subject of a full service, conservation, and calibration under laboratory conditions, see performance chart from dynamic test. The movement working exceptionally well, resolving very minor pressure fluctuations with an observed error of less than .05”Hg across the range 28 – 31” Hg, the autonomous pressure sensing cells retaining the correct form indicating good low pressure internally. 

The lacquered brass movement retaining most original finish. The recording arm replaced here with an exact copy of the original. The barometer dial re-silvered and pointer replaced. The clockwork drum will be supplied with an up-to-date comprehensive service. The mahogany case having had a complete and comprehensive re-build, the glass to cover with some minor scratches to top, minor distortion to frame at one end, the plinth slightly bowed but sitting flat.

Comments: The most popular of domestic barographs, the Short & Mason pattern being the most prolific and a quality design capable of resolving pressure change with good efficiency. This design was often white labelled, appearing with many different retailer and instrument maker’s names that in its self testament to the underlying design and quality.

This instrument offers a very good combination: attractive timber frame and lighter colour; excellent design and performance; and relative scarcity. Very much a collector or connoisseur’s piece alike.

Dimensions: 14¼” wide x 9½” deep x 8” high

Stock No: BG1883

Price: £1700