E.C. Spooner Boston Storm King

Discussion in 'Horological Misc' started by JB, Sep 6, 2010.

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  1. JB

    JB Registered User
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    Sorry , I know it's not horological, but i'm hoping one of my horological friends has a Storm King Barometer in order that i might know what it's supposed to look like and restore the one I have.
     

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  2. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    Nice barometer and i like the clock beside it.:)
     
  3. sprio

    sprio Registered User
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    Joe, I have access to one - PM me, if you wish.
     
  4. JB

    JB Registered User
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    That would be great Sprio. Thanks.
     
  5. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Greetings.

    I recently acquired an E.C. Spoon "Storm King" stick barometer. Found it buried in the back of a dealer's both at a recent general antiques show. Just spied the top peaking out.

    It's very similar to yours except for the very bottom, which is flat on the example I own. After seeing the picture of yours, went back and inspected mine again carefully. I have no doubt that's the way it was made.

    Don't know where you are in your restoration efforts, but thought I would post pictures of mine in the event they may be helpful for comparison.

    My barometer is solid walnut. Nice old finish. Elected just to wax it.

    Note it is missing the brass wire and sliding pointer. I'm told that's not too hard to replicate (I hope). The barometer scale is printed on thin card stock. It has a mercury thermometer with an engraved silvered brass scale. Both are enclosed by a glazed frame with a hole in the bottom to admit the mercury filled barometer tube, which is empty in mine.

    Many clock auctions I attend include barometers, so must be of interest to clock collectors. I know they are to me. For the heck of it, posted a wall shot also showing a ripple Lent barometer. I think they look nice with clocks.

    RM
     

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  6. JB

    JB Registered User
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    Thanks for posting the pics RM. Much appreciated.
    I need to find the thermometer for mine. I wasn't sure if the thermometer scale was silvered or not. I see now it supposed to be.


    I have a soft spot for barometers. But they seems to be harder to get the parts you might need. Parts also seem to be expensive. And dealing with mercury in one way or another makes it difficult to have working one. Hence I try to tell myself not to buy them.
     
  7. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    I agree as well as sharing your sentiments.

    Even though there are snazzier and more valuable ones around, I've always gravitated to the relatively simple 19th Century American stick barometer. Though not nearly to the same scale, it seems a few manufacturers tried to do for barometers what American clock makers did for clocks and later Ford did for the auto. That is to produce a mass market model that was relatively affordable for many, sturdy, reliable, and attractive.

    I think I might like to have one that is fully functional. To that end there is a guy in Cushing, Maine who sells and restores barometers. Seeing what he charges for his fully restored functioning ones, he probably is very, very expensive. So for now, they're decorative objects I suppose.

    RM
     
  8. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Barometers are often of interest to clock collectors. Some clock makers offered barometers as well. A search of the MB will yield other barometer postings and additional information about them.

    To reiterate a bit. One form of barometer is the stick barometer. Stick barometers have a glass tube which contains mercury and measures the barometric pressure. Next to the upper end of the mercury containing tube there is a scale which measures the height of the mercury in the tube. If the height of the mercury column falls, foul weather is approaching, rising, fair.

    American barometers were typically of the "stick" form. One prolific American maker of stick barometers was E.C. Spooner of Boston. He called his the "Storm King" barometer. For more info, see the earlier postings on this thread as well as:

    Storm King Barometer - Longfellow House Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site (U.S. National Park Service)

    Posted earlier on this thread is an example of the typically found form of the Storm King barometer. The wood is walnut. However it appears that a number of different options in various combinations were offered besides this basic form.

    In various combinations one might find the use of other woods including oak and a lighter walnut (?), carved elements, grain painting, ebonized highlights, etc. So the basic form was modified in relatively simple ways. This provided for a range of visually different products. See these examples:

    E.C. Spooner "Storm King" Mercury Stick Barometer | Sale Number 3030T, Lot Number 1133 | Skinner Auctioneers

    Antique Furniture_Clocks, American clocks, Early Clocks

    Scroll down the page to see that example.

    Aspire Auctions

    'STORM KING' BAROMETER BY E.C. SPOONER | Sandwich Auction House

    Recently I came across one of the more elaborate versions of the Storm King barometer.

    spooner 1.JPG img_3028-jpg.jpg

    Here is next to the previously posted more typical type found.

    This recently found example uses a light and dark stained walnut (I think) with ebonized highlights.

    What to me sets this one apart is that the basic barometer is mounted on an additional board also with ebonized trim. Furthermore, there is turned decoration at the top of the barometer and below. The turned decoration below the barometer is mounted to the added board.

    spooner 2.JPG spooner 3.JPG

    Here is an ink inscription on the back:

    spooner 5.JPG

    I assume this was the name of past owners.

    Sorry, my pix kinda stink.

    I've seen many of these Storm King barometers over the years but none with this particular configuration.

    I did find another rather but beat-up example on line:

    Antique 1880’s E. C. Spooner Boston Walnut Storm King Stick BarometerThermometer | Barometers

    RM
     
  9. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Did a bit of searching re: E.A. and Heather Liscomb (NOT Lipscomb which is how Google insists I spell it).

    I could not find an exact match. I refuse to sign up for endless genealogic websites, proprietary websites that require you to pay for a subscription by credit card to read old newspapers, etc.

    But what I could find is that the Liscombs are a family from Maine, including coastal Maine. Some lived offshore on Mount Desert Island. Others were involved with steamship companies.

    Living on an island, the coast or involved in steamship lines, etc., makes sense to own a barometer to predict foul weather? There was no Weather Channel in those days.

    Just some speculation...but it does sort of make sense?

    Any Liscombs out there?

    RM
     
  10. Dick C

    Dick C Registered User

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    If you go to FamilySearch.com and sign up for free, you will find both E.A. Liscomb and Hattie F. Liscomb in Brattleboro VT.
     
  11. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Thank you very much!!

    RM
     

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