An unusual first quality aluminium cased aneroid pocket barometer altimeter by Short & Mason, London c1911

Rare Antique Aluminium Pocket Barometer Altimeter by Short & Mason c1911


Pocket barometer having 1¾” die struck silvered dial, the upper part with standard meteorological terms “Rain,” “Change” and “Fair” with “Compensated” below, the lower part signed by the maker “Short & Mason, London.” Barometric scale with a range of 21 – 31 inches of mercury, outer crown operated altitude scale with a range from 0 – 10,000 feet, blued steel pointer, all set below a bevelled glass.

Conventional “C”  spring tensioned movement, dated “30/1/11” and signed “WB,” driven by a single 1¼” capsule retained in a barrel form case on three engineering screws fitted from the verso having calibration port and adjuster. Case extension with crown and suspension loop.

All contained within its correct leather over wood, pale blue velvet and silk lined case with snap closure on a button release.

These days, anything made of aluminium is considered common place and objectively of less value. Aluminium was not properly utilised until 1856 and considered a wonder metal – light, strong and easily worked or cast – as well as a luxury: Napoleon III served state dinners on aluminium plates while the rank-&-file guests made do with gold and silver dishes.

The market for pocket barometers and/or hybrid altimeters such as this was substantial – applications including meteorology, measurement of altitude for aircraft ballons, climbers and hikers, not to mention surveyors and miners. This instrument would have been a special order, more expensive than its brass equivalents with the obvious advantage in weighing appreciably less and so suited to special application. Those factors alone account for the relative rarity in this form. The method of construction dictates that the movement must be retained by engineering screws since it is not possible to attach short threaded fixings to the case with solder as convention would dictate. Quality of construction is obvious, the first quality movement only adding to its appeal.

In crisp original condition overall, working well with good sensitivity and progression. Inspected, serviced and calibrated. A collector’s piece as well as a beautiful and practical gift, particularly for hikers and mountaineers.

Dimensions: 2″ diameter x 1″ deep

Stock No: CP0712

Price: £280

Image of Aluminium Short & Mason Pocket Barometer Altimeter c1911
Image of Aluminium Short & Mason Pocket Barometer Altimeter c1911
Image of Aluminium Short & Mason Pocket Barometer Altimeter c1911
Image of Aluminium Short & Mason Pocket Barometer Altimeter c1911
Image of Aluminium Short & Mason Pocket Barometer Altimeter c1911
Image of Aluminium Short & Mason Pocket Barometer Altimeter c1911
Aluminium Short & Mason Pocket Barometer Altimeter c1911, the movement dated 30 January 1911 and signed "WB"
Image of Aluminium Short & Mason Pocket Barometer Altimeter c1911
Image of Aluminium Short & Mason Pocket Barometer Altimeter c1911
Image of Aluminium Short & Mason Pocket Barometer Altimeter c1911





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