The book, as the name indicates, discusses the inventions and developments of the major instruments used for meteorological observations. Each of the first ten chapters deals with a specific instrument or a group of related devices. The eleventh and the last chapter, the Epilogue, is a very brief two-page summary of the chronology of the development of instruments and their applications and is followed by an index.
The first two chapters on the barometer and the thermometer are the abridged versions of Middleton’s earlier and more extensive works — The History of the Barometer and A History of the Thermometer and Its Uses in Meteorology. This, however, is understandable, since no history of meteorological instruments can ever be complete without dealing with these two major instruments. The next eight chapters deal with instruments for measuring humidity, rain gauge and the atmometer, windvane and the anemometer, measurement of the duration of sunshine, early meteorographs, upper winds and the height and motion of clouds, upper-air soundings without telemetry, and telemeteorography and the radiosonde.
Asit K. Biswas
Published in Technology and Culture, 1971