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.
He was born the son of John Adie.
He was apprenticed in 1789 to his uncle John Miller. They later went into business together as Miller and Adie, Mathematical Instrument Makers, which continued until 1822.
Adie supplied lenses to Joseph Hooker, Charles Darwin and Sir David Brewster and was optician to William IV and to Queen Victoria. He invented the sympiesometer or marine barometer and had a small observatory erected long before there was a public observatory in Edinburgh. 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. He died at Caanan Lodge, Edinburgh (now demolished), and was interred in Greyfriars Kirkyard. The grave lies just in the south-west, just to the north-east of the Adam mausoleum.
His daughter married Thomas Henderson (1798-1844). Henderson is buried with Adie but is not listed on the memorial.
Alexander James Adie (railway engineer)
Adie's son was born on 16 December 1808 and also named Alexander James Adie after his father.
In 1836 he became Resident Engineer on the Bolton, Chorley and Preston Railway. In 1863 he became Manager of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway.
In February 1846 he followed in his father's footsteps and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
He died at his house, Rockville near Linlithgow, on 3 April 1879. He is buried on the south side of St Michael's Church in Linlithgow.
- "Part 1, A-J". Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1783-2002, Biographical Index (PDF) (Report). 22-26 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2PQ, UK: Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. p. 6. ISBN 0 902 198 84 X. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
- "Post-Office Annual directory for Edinburgh and its environs 1832-33". p. 37. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
- Darwin Correspondence Vol 3, p 358, Letter 1012
- Mitchell, Anne (1993), The People of Calton Hill, Mercat Press, James Thin, Edinburgh, ISBN 1-873644-18-3.
- "Alexander Adie (1774-1858)". Bearnes, Hampton and Littlewood, auctioneers and valuers. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
- Fontijn, Marco (6 December 2010). "The sympiesometer designed by Alexander Adie: an unusually short 'barometer' without mercury". artwis.com. Retrieved 2 July 2015.