Now what on earth is this little wooden item?
It is certainly an elegant little tube and it contains an elegant little thermometer.
This has about the size of an old fashioned clinical thermometer, but its temperature range goes from what we’d call sub-zero temperatures up to the sort of temperature one might get on the hottest ever summer day down by the Mediterranean Sea.
The thermometer clearly contains mercury – wholly safe so long as the thermometer is not broken. With that in mind, note the square end to the cap of that wooden tube. It stops the tube from rolling. It’s a cunningly simple safety measure.
This thermometer has temperatures on the Fahrenheit scale.
The scale actually runs from 20o to 120o which is about -7 to 48 on the Celsius scale.
We don’t know a lot about the origin of this thermometer. Our guess is that it dates from around 1900. It was acquired by our former curator at a Market Lavington jumble sale in about 1980. We’ll probably never know who actually used it and why they felt they needed it.