The instrument featured in last weeks post is a Cambell-Stokes sunshine recorder.
It was designed to record how much sun a particular spot was exposed to over a year. It worked by placing a glass sphere in a bowl and then measuring the effect of the sun on the wooden bowl it rested in.
Since those early times these machines have been refined and improved and now use heat sensitive paper to measure sun exposure. So ingenious!
For more information go to http:kuriositas.com, specifically
There are a collection of wonderful photos of these intriguing devices from all over the world. Amazing!! 🙂
This fascinating scientific instrument was invented in 1853 by the Scottish Gaelic scholar Iain Òg Ìle, known in English as John Francis Campell. He was also the Secretary to the Lighthouse Commission at the time. It was adapted and improved in 1879 by Sir George Gabriel Stokes a Cambridge University based physicist and mathematician known for his work in fluid dynamics, mathematical physics and, importantly, optics.
(Thanks to http://www.kuriositas.com for the information)
If you have any idea what it is or what it was used for or even if you would like to have a guess..leave a comment!