Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (1686–1736)


AMONG the many improvers of the thermometer in the eighteenth century, none laboured more assiduously or successfully than Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, the German natural philosopher and instrument maker who died in Holland at the early age of fifty years on September 16, 1736. His work was done at a time when the physical and medical sciences were making rapid advances, and there was great need for thermometers of good construction and furnished with a standard scale which could be used for comparisons. It was this need that Fahrenheit met. He was not the first to make thermometers, the first to use alcohol or mercury, or to devise scales with fixed points, but his improvements were such as to make his thermometers known all the world over, and though to-day it is generally recognized that the universal use of the centigrade scale would be a great advantage, the Fahrenheit thermometer seems likely to remain in use for many years yet.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (1686–1736). Nature 138, 428–429 (1936).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing