View Full Version : World’s first mercury thermometer may be sold at auction for six figures

09-01-2012, 06:07 PM

Looking to own a piece of scientific history and have a home you can take out a second mortgage on? We may have exactly the thing: a 300-year-old thermometer made by Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit himself has recently appeared in a private collection, and will be auctioned off at Christie's on October 8.

Fahrenheit, a physicist and glassblower, is credited with inventing the mercury thermometer in 1714. This piece of science history is considered to be one of the first — if not the first — mercury thermometers ever made, dated somewhere between 1715 and 1730. Only two other mercury thermometers made by Fahrenheit exist, both of which are in a Netherlands museum.

It's expected that this precision piece of scientific instrumentation — seriously, this was a sought-after, research-grade, professional tool in its day — will fetch £100,000 at auction, or about $150,000.