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Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (1686 - 1736)

Field(s) of interest: scientific instruments | physics | chemistry
Gender: male

Born: Dantzig, 24-05-1686
Died: Den Haag, 16-09-1736

Scientific instrument maker from Dantzig, Poland. Fahrenheit spent a large part of his life in the Dutch Republic. He made mainly thermometers; before 1716 he also made telescopes. Between 1702 and 1706 Fahrenheit was an apprentice in Amsterdam. In 1708, he went to Denmark and learned from Ole Romer in Copenhagen how to make thermometers. In 1717 he returned to Amsterdam, where he settled in the Leidsestraat, at the copper smith Roemer. Between 1717 and 1730 he taught physics and chemistry for a Group of Mennonite enthusiasts. He made thermometers, barometers, aerometers, perpetuum mobiles, eye models, pycnometers, solar microscopes, reflecting telescopes and mercury clocks. Fahrenheit is best known for for developing a temperature scale, named after him. In 1724 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of London.

Collections: Museum Boerhaave, Leiden; Universiteitsmuseum Utrecht; Universiteitsmuseum Groningen; Planetarium Zuylenburgh, Oud Zuilen.

instrument maker: ~1708 - 1736

Rooseboom, M., Bijdrage tot de geschiedenis der instrumentmakerskunst in de noordelijke Nederlanden (Leiden 1950).

Bolle, B., Barometers in beeld (Lochem/Poperinge 1983).

Kant, Horst, Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit, René-Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur, Anders Celsius (Leipzig 1984).

Zuidervaart, H.J., Van 'Konstgenoten' en hemelse fenomenen. Nederlandse sterrenkunde in de achttiende eeuw (Rotterdam 1999).

[Ebeling, E.], Naamlijst en korte beschrijving van wis- en natuurkundige werktuigen, bij één verzameld door mr. E. Ebeling (Amsterdam 1789).

Star, P. van der, Fahrenheit’s Letters to Leibnitz and Boerhaave, Amsterdam, 1983

Mills, A. A., ‘Portable Heliostats (Solar Illuminators)’, Annals of Science 43 (1986), 369–406, esp. 375–6.

Cohen, E. & W. A. T. Cohen-De Meester, ‘Danie¨l Gabriel Fahrenheit’, Chemisch Weekblad, 33 (1936), 1–58 and 34 (1937), 1–11 (pages reprint). Partly published in the German language in: Verhandelingen der Kon. Akad. van Wetenschappen, Afd. Natuurkunde (Eerste sectie), 16, No. 2 (1936).