The Mercury Thermometer
(“Fahrenheit, Gabriel Daniel (1686-1736)”)
The great man himself, Daniel Fahrenheit.
Boiling water, freezing water and the temperature of a human body: these were the key points of the Fahrenheit scale. These three temperatures were chosen to act as the basis of the Fahrenheit temperature scale. The scale was named after Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, who invented the first non-alcohol based thermometer. Fahrenheit’s thermometers were popular to the public, accepted by the church and influential because they were the most accurate thermometers of the time.
Fahrenheit’s thermometers caught the eye of the public people immediately. The public was so intrigued by the inventions because they were the most accurate thermometers invented at that time (“Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit: Biography from Answers.com”). Fahrenheit’s thermometers were also the first thermometers to be invented without the use of an alcohol and water based mixture, instead of this traditional
concoction, Daniel used mercury (Asimov 184). He used mercury because the expansion was not affected by its surroundings. . The new list of ingredients had the public excited to use the revolutionary device. Fahrenheit’s thermometers could also be used at higher altitudes than their alcoholic counter-parts and still be accurate (“Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit Biography”). This was because the altitude did not affect the expansion of mercury as much as it affected the expansion of the alcoholic mixture. Alongside his revolutionary inventions, Daniel also created his own temperature scale, which he called “The Fahrenheit Scale” (“Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit Biography”). This new scale had the population buzzing because it had more depth than the other temperature scales at the time. Fahrenheit’s invention of the mercury thermometer was revolutionary and was a new way to measure temperatures, which had the public yearning to see how it was done.