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Out of the Museum

The women are right

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LINCOLN AREA ARCHIVES MUSEUM

Where: Beermann Plaza at 640 5th St.

When: Open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays

Free: Donations always accepted

Lincoln women knew the purpose of last week’s mystery item. Hopefully, some men will respond with what this week’s mystery item is by next Tuesday.

Answers will appear in next week’s Out of the Museum feature. Please send those answers to carolf@goldcountrymedia.com.

About last week’s mystery item, Carolyn Danielson said, “The July 12 mystery item is a barometer, and during low pressure, liquid rises in the side tube. During high pressure, the liquid goes into the round bowl. I have one and I think that is how it works!”

Maureen Munro said, “It looks like a weather predicator. It goes up for high and down for low or good weather or bad.”

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Tom and Lisa Augustine donated the vintage glass instrument, a barometer, shown in last week's paper to the Lincoln Area Archives Museum. A barometer is used to measure air pressure. A cloud and a sun are pictured on the Augustines’ barometer.

Today’s barometers are much more sophisticated with some even being digital, Lincoln Area Archives Museum docents say, but the earlier barometers worked fine.

The barometer was invented in 1643 by Italian Evangelista Torricelli, a physicist and mathematician.  However, historical documentation also suggests “Casparo Berti, an Italian mathematician and astronomer, unintentionally built a water barometer sometime between 1640 and 1643.”

Torricelli first used a tube of water in his experiments. Museum docents say that Galileo (1564 to 1642) suggested the use of mercury to Torricelli (1608 to 1647).

In case this week’s mystery item is mysterious to readers, come check it out at the Lincoln Area Archives Museum in downtown Lincoln.

- Carol Feineman