Museo Galileo
Virtual Museum
Sixty-degree thermometers
    • Setting:
      Room VIII
    • Maker:
    • Place:
    • Date:
      mid-17th cent.
    • Materials:
    • Dimensions:
      length 130 mm
    • Inventory:
      66, 67
    • Sixty-degree thermometers (Inv. 66, 67)

Two small thermometers divided into sixty degrees, one of the many thermometric scales adopted by the Accademia del Cimento. The numbers "56" and "54" can be observed, but their meaning is not known. The graduation is indicated by small enamel dots, black for single degrees, white for ten degrees. The thermometric liquid is acquarzente. In his Notizie degli aggrandamenti delle scienze fisiche accaduti in Toscana [News of the developments in the physical sciences that have taken place in Tuscany] (Florence, 1780), Giovanni Targioni Tozzetti notes that with a sixty-degree thermometer it was proved that "heat" was necessary to make "chicks hatch in ovens, placing the instrument first under the brooding hen, and recording the degree of heat obtained with such an effect." This artificial incubation of sorts was tested in the Boboli Garden, in a large room "for keeping citrus plants in the winter months."