According to Sir Samuel Wilkes, Fahrenheit constructed his thermometer from one made many years before by Sir Isaac Newton. " In the Transactions of the Royal Society for 1701 will be found the paper written by Sir Isaac Newton, who was at that time Secretary to the Society, " says Sir Samuel. " He invented an instrument for measuring the degrees of heat in fluids by taking a tube and filling it with linseed oil.
On this he marked the freezing point as zero by putting the tube in ice, and in the same way he marked the point when placed in boiling water. The very awkward scale which we now use is evidently that of New. ton, for, the decimal system not being then in use, he took the number 12 to denote the heat of the body; this he found, and made it the starting point of his scale, both upward and downward.
" It was some time after this, that, for the sake of convenience, the degrees were divided into two, and thus the body heat was 24 above zero and boiling point 53. When, many years afterward, Fahrenheit made his instrument and used mercury instead of linseed oil, which was far more convenient, he again divided these degrees, into four so if the number be multiplied accordingly we have 212 for the boiling point and 96 for the body heat.
"Fahrenheit, finding he could get a lower temperature thanfreezing, made this point zero, which brought the number 8 of Newton's to 32 of Fahrenheit. In this way the thermometer was constructed."-"Chicago News."