Where is it from?

Association locations map

Similar items over time

Quadrant Electrometer - Thomson Type, with Glass Dome, circa 1880s Object Reg. No: ST 022127

A simple Thomson type quadrant electrometer. Used at Melbourne Observatory.

An electrometer measures electrical charge.

The basic quadrant electrometer was developed by Lord Kelvin (Sir William Thomson) in the 1860s. The earliest versions were usually housed inside a “bird cage” or box. The bird cage electrometers got their name from the Faraday cage that was used to protect the instrument from stray electrostatic charges. In some cases, a glass bell jar protected them from the air currents which could affect their operation. The other common approach was to house the electometer inside a wooden box, the front of which was made of glass.
Instrument in wooden case.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from Melbourne Observatory, 1945
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 40 cm (Height), 26 cm (Width), 25 cm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: electric apparatus instruments, observatories
Themes this item is part of: Melbourne Observatory Collection, Science & Measurement Collection, Positional Astronomy at Melbourne Observatory, Weights & Measures at Melbourne Observatory, Melbourne Observatory & Standard Time in Victoria, Astrographic Catalogue, Transits of Venus, 1874 & 1882, Buildings at Melbourne Observatory, Star Observations & Personal Equation, Meteorology at Melbourne Observatory, 1863-1908, Melbourne Observatory, 1863-1944, Geodetic Survey of Victoria, 1858-1872
Primary Classification: PHYSICAL SCIENCES
Secondary Classification: Electromagnetism
Tertiary Classification: measuring equipment
Inventor: Sir William Thomson, England, Great Britain, circa 1860
User: Melbourne Observatory, South Yarra, Victoria, Australia
References: http://www.orau.org/ptp/collection/electrometers/quadrantelectrometer.htm, accessed 07/0/2010.

Add your comment

  • Museum Victoria does not provide valuations, for more information please visit the valuation infosheet
  • Please note that Museum Victoria staff will not normally respond to comments posted on our website.
Yes No