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Two rain gauge measuring cylinders., 1860 - 1900
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Object statement
Rain gauges (2), measuring cylinders, glass, made by Angelo Tornaghi, used at Sydney Observatory, New South Wales, Australia, 1861-1900
"Mr. Tornaghi for the Sydney Observatory has also constructed numbers of tide-gauges, standard barometers, self-registering barometers, micrometer eye-pieces, and numberless other instruments of importance."

Tornaghi was born Milan in 1831 and arrived in Sydney in 1858 to supervise the adjustment of the Negretti & Zambra instruments ordered by Sydney Observatory.

By 1861 he had set up his own business at 28 Bridge Street Sydney and was acting as a local agent for the London based Negretti & Zambra. It was during this period that Tornaghi also started making instruments himself and by 1864 he had moved to larger premises at 312 George St Sydney.

Rain gauges were an important feature of the observatory's work and they not only brought their own gauges but provided instruments to other meteorological stations around New South Wales. It then collated data from their own gauges and those located at other stations around New South Wales. By 1860 meteorological observations, including rainfall, were being systematically collected every month and sent to the Observatory.

This instrument remains of national significance due to its pioneering role in Australian science and its association with Australia's earliest astronomers. It is also significant for its association with nineteenth century meteorological instruments and local instrument makers.

Geoff Barker, Assistant Curator, March 2007

References
Meteorological Observations at the Radcliffe Observatory, Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society, Number 5, Winter 1985
Australian Men of Mark, Volume 2, Charles F. Maxwell, Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, 1889
Harley Wood, 'The Sky and the Weather', A Century of Scientific Progress: the Centenary Volume of the Royal Society of New South Wales, Published by the Society, Science House, Sydney, 1986
Casella, L., An Illustrated descriptive Catalogue of Surveying, Philosophical, Mathematical, Optical, photographic and Standard Meteorological Instruments, D. Lane, Steam Printer, 310 Strand, London, 1871
Knight, E.H., Knight's American Mechanical Dictionary, Volume III, Hurd & Houghton, Cambridge, 1876
Russell, H.C., Results of Meteorological Observations made in New South Wales during 1887, Charles Potter, Government Printer, 1889
Angelo Tornahgi
Tornaghi was born Milan in 1824 and arrived in Sydney in 1858 to supervise the adjustment of the Negretti & Zambra instruments ordered by Sydney Observatory.

By 1861 he had set up his own business at 28 Bridge Street Sydney and was acting as a local agent for the London based Negretti & Zambra. It was during this period that Tornaghi also started making instruments himself and by 1864 he had moved to larger premises at 312 George St Sydney.

His first major scientific achievement in the colony was the invention in 1863 of a portable and accurate circumferentor. These were used by surveyors in place of the ordinary theodolite and were used to measure horizontal and vertical angles.

Tornaghi must have impressed staff at Sydney Observatory for he was one of the members selected by H.C. Russell to work with him on the observations of the 1874 Transit of Venus. The 1889 publication Men of Mark stated that for "the Sydney Observatory he has also constructed numbers of tide-gauges, standard barometers, self-registering barometers, micrometer eye-pieces, and numberless other instruments of importance."

However it was as a clock maker that Tornaghi is primarily remembered as he took on many government commissions including constructing and looking after "clocks in the Government offices and in various ministerial departments, which alone keeps a large staff of men employed."

On one of his biggest projects the construction of the Sydney Town Hall Tornaghi declared he would forgo all payment if the clock did not turn out. As it turned out he may have been wiser not to make this offer for his design to construct what was then the largest clock in Australia was rejected by the government. The clock is believed to have been installed in the Lismore Post Office. Other Post Office clocks by Tornaghi can be found in Albury, Kiama, Orange, Forbes, Maitland, Tamworth, Yass, Dubbo, Grafton and Goulburn.

Tornaghi was also a designer and metal worker and amongst his many accomplishments were the largest known electro-metallurgy plated statues. These monuments were14 feet high and were placed in front of the Mutual Fire Assurance Company building.

References
Maguire, Roslyn, 'Angelo Tornahgi; an inventive Italian of the nineteenth century, in The Australian Antique Collector, number 29, 1985, p.42
Australian Men of Mark, Volume 2, Charles F. Maxwell, Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, 1889

Written by Geoff Barker, November 2007
The rain gauges were used at Sydney Observatory, Watson Road, Observatory Hill, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

 This text content licensed under CC BY-NC.

Description
Rain gauges (2), measuring cylinders, glass, made by Angelo Tornaghi, used at Sydney Observatory, New South Wales, Australia, 1861-1900

Two glass cylinder that are graduated at the base. Both cylinders sit on a circular glass foot and have a lipped spout on one side of the opening at the top of the cylinder. Scale divisions in hundredths of an inch from 0-15 have been engraved on the surface of the cylinder.

Made: Tornaghi, Angelo; Sydney; 1860 - 1900


Used: Sydney Observatory; Sydney
85/1913
Production date
1860 - 1900
Height
225 mm
Width
90 mm
Depth
90 mm

 This text content licensed under CC BY-SA.
Acquisition credit line
Ex Sydney Obsveratory stock, 1985
This object belongs to:
Sydney Observatory Collection
Subjects
+ Measurement
+ Sydney Observatory
+ Meteorology
Currently on public display
+ Observing the Weather, Sydney Observatory
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{{cite web |url=http://from.ph/36977 |title=Two rain gauge measuring cylinders. |author=Powerhouse Museum |accessdate=30 March 2015 |publisher=Powerhouse Museum, Australia}}


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