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.
His daughter married Thomas Henderson (1798-1844).
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.
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- Darwin Correspondence Vol 3, p 358, Letter 1012
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