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Quadrant Electrometer - Thomson Type, with Glass & Metal Case, circa 1900 Object Reg. No: ST 029786

Thomson type quadrant electrometer, with replenisher and auxiliary electrometer, circa 1900. 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.
Similar to ST 023156, except on Leyden jar or electrostatic shield. Has geared replenisher in top of lantern, and divided ring electrometer for determining the charge on the needle (sight hole near top of lantern). Main body is cylindrical glass housing. Quadrants have glass insulators.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Melbourne Observatory, 1945
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 39 cm (Height), 25 cm (Width), 25 cm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: electric apparatus instruments, electrometers
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
Inscriptions: No manufacturer's marks.
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.

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