Jason Clarke Antiques

Late Victorian Swinging Plate Anemometer by AW Gamage Ltd London


For sale, a late Victorian swinging plate anemometer by AW Gamage Limited

This simple but neatly designed anemometer consists of a two part mahogany case with a hinged rectangular frame which folds out vertically for use. A metal plate is hung within the frame and is free moving to allow for reading when placed against the wind. A hinged engraved scale which also folds up vertically from a flat position is held in place by a metal brace to the back of the case and is shaped as to follow the pendulum movement of the plate when it is released for use.

Two additional lead weights are also contained with the case whih can be threaded through the centre of the plate and screwed together to add additional weight to the plate and accommodate higher velocity winds. In order to differentiate between the normal plate and weighted plate, the scale has two different readings dependent on the required situation.

The top lid bears an ink stamp stating: “No 2006. AW Gamage Ltd, Holborn Works Depot, Phoenix Place, Mount Pleasant WC”

Unlikely to have been of any use to the serious meteorologist, this model is a descendent of the earliest anemometer invented by the Italian architect Leon Battista Alberti and later developed further by Robert Hooke in 1664. Without the ability to mechanically record wind speed, this would have been used by an interested amateur or perhaps been of use for field shooting to gauge wind speed.

The fact that it was purchased from AW Gamage Limited might attest for a sporting use as they were a very large department store rather than a scientific instrument making firm. Formed in 1878, they traded for almost one hundred years, finally closing their doors in 1972.

An ingeniously designed and very portable field anemometer.

Circa 1890

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