Alexander Adie

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For the Australian pioneer, see Alexander Adie (Australian pioneer).
Adie's house, 10 Regent Terrace, Edinburgh

Alexander James Adie FRSE MWS (1775, Edinburgh – 1859, Edinburgh) was a Scottish maker of medical instruments, optician and meteorologist. He was the inventor of the sympiesometer, patented in 1818.[1]

Apprenticed in 1789 to his uncle John Miller, they went into business together as Miller and Adie until 1822. Adie supplied lenses to Joseph Hooker, Charles Darwin[2] and Sir David Brewster and was optician to William IV and to Queen Victoria.[3] He invented the sympiesometer or marine barometer and had a small observatory erected long before there was a public observatory in Edinburgh.[3] He was elected as Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh on 25 January 1819, upon the proposal of Lord F Gray, Sir David Brewster and James Russell.

Adie lived at 10 Regent Terrace, Edinburgh from 1832 to 1838.[3] He died at Caanan Lodge, Edinburgh (now demolished), and was interred in Greyfriars Kirkyard.


  1. ^ "Former RSE Fellows 1783-2002". Royal Society of Edinburgh. Retrieved 31 March 2010. 
  2. ^ Darwin Correspondence Vol 3, p 358, Letter 1012
  3. ^ a b c Mitchell, Anne (1993), The People of Calton Hill, Mercat Press, James Thin, Edinburgh, ISBN 1-873644-18-3.

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