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Alexander Adie (1774-1858)

Biography of barometer and scientific instrument maker Alexander Adie (1774-1858)

Alexander James Adie (1774-1858) was a well-known maker of barometers and scientific instruments in Edinburgh, born in 1774.

Adie was apprenticed to his uncle John Miller in 1789 and eventually traded with him as Miller & Adie until 1822. He was later joined by his son Richard Adie in partnership and were recorded working at 58 Princes Street in Edinburgh from circa 1835 until 1842 when the business moved to 50 Princes Street until 1860.

Alexander Adie is chiefly known as the inventor and patentee of the sympiesometer, which was granted in 1818. Both he and his second son John Adie were elected members of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and are believed to be the only two scientific instrument makers to have been granted this honour.

Adie was also optician to both William IV and Victoria.

Alexander Adie died in 1858.

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Lot FS16/671

Lot FS16/671: Adie and Son Edinburgh, A Mahogany Stick Barometer

Adie and Son Edinburgh, a mahogany stick barometer the bow fronted case with shaped gadrooned top and cistern cover with a scroll moulding below, the silvered dial engraved with a single gauge with sliding vernier, set via the bone knob below, and signed 'Adie & Son, Edinburgh', height: 120cm. Alexander Adie (born 1774) & his son Richard were a well-known partnership of barometer and scientific instrument makers recorded working at 58, Princes Street, Edinburgh from circa 1835 until 1842 when they are recorded at 50, Princes Street until 1860, Alexander having died in 1858. Alexander is chiefly known as the inventor and patentee of the sympiesometer which was granted in 1818. Both he and his second son John were elected members of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and are believed to be the only two scientific instrument makers to have been granted this honour.

Estimate: £2,500 - £3,000
Realised: £7,800