Development of Rain Gages

The development of rain gages is considered in detail for the period of about 400 B.C. to the end of the 16th century and, more briefly, for the period beginning with the 17th century to about 1850 A.D. The earliest precipitation measurements were taken in India around the 4th century B.C., followed by the Palestinians a few centuries later. The use of rain and snow gages in the 13th century in China, spread to Korea in the 15th century. The rain gage was used in Europe by Benedetto Castelli in 1639, and in 1662 Sir Christopher Wren devised the first automatic gage (tipping-bucket type), which was later modified and perfected by Robert Hooke. Pierre Perrault and Edmé Mariotte used nonrecording gages in France towards the latter half of the 17th century to prove the pluvial origin of springs.

By Asit K. Biswas, 1967. Article published in Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, Volume 93, Issue 3. DOI: 10.1061/JRCEA4.0000523

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