Gauging alcohol

Saccharometer

omponents of a scientific instrument including bronze bulbs and a thermometer, in a wooden box

Excise officers started to use the saccharometer in 1806. This was to work out the gravity of different liquids, or spirit strengths. They were used until the 1970s.

It is believed that the saccharometer was invented in 1805 by Dr Thomas Thomson from Glasgow. He was part of a committee set up by the Treasury to find a way of comparing spirit strengths.

This box was made by Dring and Fage. The saccharometer was made by Oertling Ltd and it was used during the 1960s.

Accession number CENM 1995.220