Chrome Barograph, English, 1920s


An early 20th century English chrome barograph by Hortsmann Gear Company Ltd. , Bath.

A barograph, or recording barometer, records the movement in barometric pressure over time. The papers are fixed to a revolving drum containing a clock mechanism – this drum rotates over the course of one week. A barograph makes an interest ornament for a scientist, or indeed anyone interested in the weather.

The chrome-plated case has a lift-off lid guided into place by four locating pillars. The movements are mounted on a black base, the black repeated in the detail of the feet.

The barometer mechanism with 6 vacuum capsules, the recording arm fitted with a bucket-style nib. This is filled periodically with ink from the small glass ink bottle, using the dibber.

The week-going clock movement is contained within the recording drum, and can be wound with the intended knurled round key fitted to the top, hidden beneath the chrome cover. I find this design difficult however, and will supply a standard key to fit in addition.

The movement is very well engineered and stamped for the maker together with the serial number. The platform is stamped ABEC, for All British Escapements Co., Ltd., a company formed in 1928 to make escapements for Smiths and Jaeger car clocks. ; it is overhauled and guaranteed for 3 years.

  • Height: 14cms
  • Width: 24.5cms
  • Depth: 14cms

Sold with a year’s supply of recording papers and a full bottle of ink.

The Hortsmann Gear Company of Newbridge Works, 93 Newbridge Road, Bath, Somerset was formed in 1904 to develop a variable speed gear box for cars and motorcycles. Their solar switch developed in 1904 was used for decades in street lighting to automatically switch for day and night. From 1915, Hortsmann developed their range of products to include domestics clocks. This barograph dates from c.1920-30s.

Ref: ME

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