Back in 1714, a physicist, engineer and glass blower Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit invented mercury-in-glass or mercury thermometer, which is and forever will be regarded as one of the major advance in the field of medicine as it enables the physicians to monitor the temperature of their patients. Prior to its revolutionary discovery, it was actually thought that only two original examples of the mercury thermometer exist, which are housed in Boerhaave Museum in the Netherlands. Now, a third original Daniel Fahrenheit thermometer example, signed ‘Fahrenheit Amst’ from the time the inventor worked in Amsterdam, has recently been discovered in a private collection, where it has spent the past 40 years. This rare example will feature as the highlight of the auction at Christie’s London showroom on October 9, and is expected to fetch a price of $157,000.
Interestingly, it’s however not certain how many Daniel Fahrenheit produced or even when the inventor began making the thermometers commercially, though one of the two original examples housed in the Netherland museum is dated 1718.
The example under the hammer measures just 4.5-inches long and is made of brass, and has a Fahrenheit scale down the side. However, it’s been considered that this particular example was likely owned by a great scientist of the day. Speaking about the sale of this thermometer, auctioneers have stated that people are very excited about it and they are hoping that museums might come in and bid for it.
However, the mercury tube is not the original and has been replaced, but it was clearly designed so the tubes could be taken out. It was actually a scientific thermometer used perhaps for the purposes of measuring the liquid temperatures.
UPDATE: The Original Fahrenheit Thermometer has been sold for $107,258. Though it sold for less than its estimated price of $157,000, only 3 examples are believed to exist with 2 of them in the Netherlands’ Boerhaave Museum.