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Victorian Pocket Altimeter Barometer c.1890 | Compass Library

Victorian Pocket Altimeter Barometer c.1900

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A Victorian pocket altimeter barometer, dating from c.1900. It would have been used by explorers, mountaineers, or travellers. Although there are no obvious maker's marks, it was made in England, probably around 1900, by one of the best makers, almost certainly Francis Barker. Francis Barker was a prolific maker of pocket barometers from the Victorian era through to the early 20th century. Almost all of Barker's barometers were supplied unsigned to the retail trade, with the retailer often adding their own details to the dial. But Barker often added a discreet marking on the dial, a kind of hidden signature - in this case it can be seen in the letter 'C' placed between the '31' and '21' markings. The dial is calibrated from zero to 10,000 feet, with additional 'Rain', 'Change', and 'Fair' markings. The barometer has a gilt brass case, blued needle, a rotating bezel operated by turning the crown, and an adjustment screw on the rear. Two almost identical Barometers, made by Francis Barker between 1905-1910, can be seen on pages 86-87 of Paul Crespel's book Trade Mark London.


The barometer is in good condition and full working order, and passes the plastic bag pressure test. The gilt brass case is in good condition, with some wear to the original lacquered finish. The glass is in good condition, with a couple of minor scatches. The dial and needle are in good condition. The fitted Moroccan leather, velvet lined, case has general signs of wear, and is missing its push-button clasp.

Dimensions : 50mm (75mm inc. loop)