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Dines’ Meteorograph


This instrument is an instrument constructed of wire forming a roughly cylindrical frame with a metal base. Inside the cylinder is an an internal mechanism.

Outer Frame: The instrument consists of an upright, cylindrical outer frame constructed of metal (possibly steel or iron). The frame is composed of four thin metal support pillars which are soldered to two circular metal rings, one ring attached to the posterior of the support pillars and one ring attached to the anterior of the support pillars, forming an open, cylindrical frame.

The interior mechanism is soldered to the interior of the cylindrical outer frame at four different points: Two of the frame’s metal pillars are soldered at their center to both lateral edges of disk A of the interior mechanism. Another metal pillar is divided into two parts, one half soldered to the frame’s anterior metal ring and the anterior edge of disk A. The second half of the pillar is then soldered to the posterior edge of disk A and to the posterior metal ring of the frame. The frame’s fourth support pillar is not attached to the interior mechanism, soldered only to the anterior and posterior metal rings of the frame.

Attached between the two vertical metal arms of B is a circular metal disk labelled A. Each vertical arm of B is soldered to each face of disk A in the center of disk A. On each face of the disk, there are raised concentric circular ridges in the metal. Below disk A, the posterior ends of each arm of B are joined at right angles.

Attached to one side of the interior of the instrument’s frame is vertical metal bar H. Attached to the outside bar H is vertical bar M, made of German silver. A horizontal steel point known as a “pen” and labelled L is attached to vertical bar H and extends diagonally upward. Horizontal lever DCF supports a second pen labelled E, which extends horizontally. A small rectangular metal plate is attached at the top of bar B and sits behind pens E and L, whose points touch the surface of the plate.

The outer frame and the interior mechanism attached to the frame sit atop a circular metal base (possibly copper). The cylindrical frame is not attached to the base and can be removed. The base is circular and has concentric circular ridges on both its anterior and posterior faces. In the center of the base’s anterior face is a raised cylindrical clamp which can be loosened or tightened by a screw protruding horizontally from the side of the clamp.

Accession Number:

Alternative Name: Dyne’s Bimetal Thermo Baro-graph

Primary Materials: Iron, Steel, German Silver, Copper

Markings: This instrument has no markings.

Dimensions (cm):

Including base: Height = 17, Diameter = 7.6


This instrument is a meteorological tool which was attached to weather balloons in order to record temperature, air pressure, and humidity of the upper atmosphere.


Fair. All joints seem to be firmly attached. There are signs of copper corrosion on the instrument’s base, particularly near the raised cylindrical clamp on the anterior face of the base where a large greenish-white spot has formed. There are also speckles of rust which have spread over most of the instrument’s frame and interior mechanism, resulting in black and dark brownish-red discolouration on most of the instrument’s metallic surfaces.

Associated Instruments:

Manufacturer: William Henry Dines

Date of Manufacture: ca. early 20th century


This instrument was donated to UTSIC by University of Toronto Physics Department, May 27, 2013.
This instrument was invented and likely owned by William Henry Dines during the early 20th century, however further research is required to confirm this instrument’s provenance prior to its acquisition by UTSIC from the University of Toronto’s Physics Department in 2013.

Additional Information and References:

Lynch, Peter. 2006. The Emergence of Numerical Weather Prediction: Richardson’s Dream. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 100-103. [University of Toronto Gerstein Science Library stacks QC996 .L96 2006]

Pike, William. 2005. “William Henry Dines (1855-1927),” Weather. Vol. 60(11): 308-315.

Historical Notes:

  • Donated to UTSIC