It is quite unusual to find a older piece of scientific glassware, and glass thermometers follow this rule. The only early thermometers I have seen are the two maximum/minimum thermometers shown on this page. 

   The maximum/minimum thermometer below, at Wittenberg University, was made by James W. Queen of Philadelphia, and is marked "US Weather Bureau". The minimum thermometer (top) was $4.00 and the minimum thermometer (bottom) was $5.50 in the 1881 Queen catalogue.

   James Six's maximum and minimum thermometer is at the right. The painted tinned-steel cases of this form of thermometer mad by almost all manufacturers in the 19th century were nearly identical. The design dates from the later years of the 18th century.This thermometer is in the Kenyon College collection.

   This is a most unusual thermometer, designed by Breguet, and sold by James W. Queen & Co. of Philadelphia as Breguet's Metallic Thermometer, priced at $25.00. The date is ca. 1900.

   The metal helix expands as the temperature increases, and starts to unwind. The transverse needle in the bottom records the temperature, and the instrument is certainly calibrated emperically.

   The 1888 Queen catalogue indicates that this item is important, and also notes that it is duty free; until June 22, 1874 schools and colleges paid a 40% import duty on scientific instruments. 

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