Two thermometers, one straight & one bent, marked in Fahrenheit scale, Aitken type, glass, in wooden case, by L. Casella of London, 1865-1871
British physician Sir William Aitken (1825-1898) designed these two thermometers. The bent one can be removed from the patient and still be read up to three minutes later. This is because a constriction above the mercury bulb prevents the mercury dropping back after the temperature has been taken. The straight thermometer must be read in situ.
The clinical thermometer differs from an ordinary thermometer. It measures only over a limited temperature range relating to body temperatures. Such instruments were used in medicine for some time before 1850. However, it was only then they began being used as precise means to diagnose disease. They were also used to predict a disease’s course through recognising the different temperature patterns of specific diseases.
- Clinical Diagnosis
- Object Number:
- brass (copper, zinc alloy), felt, glass, mahogany (wood), mercury, metal (unknown), paper (fibre product) and wood
overall (closed): 21 mm x 304 mm x 70 mm, 0.226 kg
overall (open): 18 mm x 304 mm x 142 mm, 0.226 kg
- furnishing and equipment
- measuring device - instrument
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
View manifest in IIIF viewer
Download manifest IIIF
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.