On Display: Artifact

Mercury reigns


Photo by James Gehrt

Lining the walls of the first floor of Kendade Hall are eleven stick barometers, dating from 1790 to 1860. Each standing several feet tall and constructed from wood, glass, and metal, the mercury barometers were once used to measure atmospheric pressure in order to predict the weather and to determine altitude. The collection was donated in 2003 by Marion (Junie) Craig Potter ’49, who also gifted the College a $5.5 million grant for the Kendade project and for whom the building’s sitting area was named Potter Atrium.

A retired gynecologist and obstetrician in Rochester, New York, Potter has not only amassed a personal collection of barometers but also one of wishbones, ranging in species from hummingbirds to emus.

—By Rowan Collins ’18

This article appeared in the winter 2016 issue of the Alumnae Quarterly.

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