A unique and very rare altimeter from the beginning of WW1 - attributed to Flight Sub
Lt. Ralph Whitehead (Royal Naval Air Service)
Perfectly named and dated on the rear of the instrument – 1914.
The altimeter was made by Negretti & Zambra - London, one of the finest scientific instrument
and barometer makers of the period.
In excellent untouched original condition retaining it's green silk/velvet lined leather case.
Altimeters at this time were still being developed for use in aircraft, and the standard
'panel fitted' types had only just started to appear.
The instrument is larger than a standard pocket barometer and has brackets to attach
a leather strap if required - for use over leather gauntlets or the arm of a flying coat.
The brass case has original gilding and is in fine condition, as is the silvered dial.
The outer ring can be set for take off height and is graduated to a ceiling of 7,000 Ft.
It reacts well to barometric pressure variations, and so can be demonstrated in the
home as a barometer.
Ralph Whitehead became Flight Sub Lt. on the 8th September 1914, earning his
aviator's certificate from the Royal Aero Club.
He trained and passed flying a Grahame-White Biplane at the Grahame-White
This unique instrument was possibly commissioned by him, or given as a gift to
congratulate earning his Aviator's Certificate.
Dial size - 3" 7.7cm.
Not to be confused with the size of a normal pocket barometer - this example
is much larger and displays very well.