The purpose of a hydrometer is to determine the specific gravity of a liquid. From this it is often possible to determine the composition or strength of the liquid. The Sikes hydrometer was, for very many years, the standard means of determining the alcohol content of spirits and hence the duty payable.
In 1802 the Board of Excise held a competition to find a better instrument than Clarke’s hydrometer for revenue purposes and nineteen instruments were submitted for consideration. The winning design was that of Bartholomew Sikes, an employee of the Excise Commissioners. Sikes hydrometer was enshrined in legislation in 1816 with the Sikes Hydrometer Act and remained the legal standard until 1907.
Please note there is no whisky in this lot.
Also note minor wear to box.