Photographic Equipment Manufacturer

Pocket Barometer

Thank you to Walter Lyle Hume, Cowes, Isle of Wight for telling me this story behind his pocket barometer.

Walter wrote:

Czar of Russia

"Do you knew of a ''Lennie'' in Edinburgh, in connection with having supplied, or possibly made, five pocket Barometers to the order of the Czar of Russia, during his visit to Leith circa 1910 on the

My Grandfather, Robert Hume, was engaged as a Pilot to conduct the vessel from the May Island to Leith and detained on board in case the Royal Party were required to make an unforeseen hurried departure.  He then took the ship to the May Island .


The Czar was so pleased that the visit had been conducted without any bother that he charged his Equerry to present a gift of said Barometer to my Grandfather plus one each to his four sons, all Firth of Forth Pilots.

I have the one presented to my father.  It is the size of a pocket watch.  Looking closely, I see that the name on the dial the name is 'Lennie, Edinburgh'.

I have also seen the one presented to my Grandfather.  It was in a nice velvet-lined presentation box. I don't know what became of the others."

Walter Lyle Hume, Cowes, Isle of Wight, England:  November 25, 2007


Optical & Photographic Establishment

The firm that supplied the pocket barometers (above) would have been Lennies.  The company was based at 46 Princes Street.  It traded under various 'Lennie' names from this address for almost a hundred years from 1857.

They appear to have been retailers, rather than manufacturers of scientific instruments for most of this period.

The book "Brass & Glass: Scientific Instrument Making Workshops in Scotland"  [Publ. National Museums of Scotland] includes a photograph of the cover of catalogue by E Lennie, published some time between 1859 and 1901.

It describes the company as 'Optical & Photographic Establishment'.

It lists their products:

-  spectacles and eye glasses in every variety of mounting.

-  lenses, cameras and photographic material.

-  stereoscopes in endless variety and slides.

-  acromatic telescopes, field glasses and opera glasses.

-  barometers, thermometers, magic lanterns.

- Peter Stubbs:  November 25, 2007




Keith Miller

Oban, Argyll & Bute, Scotland

Thank you to Keith Millar for writing to tell me that he had recently acquired one of the Lennie pocket barometers described above, and for sending me a photograph of it.

Unfortunately, I don't have the resources to add all the photos that people send me to the EdinPhoto web site.  Sorry about that!                                                                                   -  Peter Stubbs.

Keith wrote:

Pocket Barometer

"Im attaching a picture of one of these nice little instruments.  I saw it in a North Berwick antique shop this summer, and hinted to my better half that it might fit as a birthday present for me if she were stuck for ideas.

So I now have it and it works well.  I'm not sure what the casing is made from it's like a combination of brass and gold plate.  It  sits well to the hand."

Keith Lennie, Oban, Argyll & Bute, Scotland:  28 August 2016



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