This is a fine example of a traveller's anemometer which was used for measuring the force of wind. Larger versions were attached to meteorological stations but this one was designed to be taken into the field.
Robinson anemometers are made up of four hemispherical cups whose open faces are exposed to currents of air. The rotation of the cups was found by Dr. Robinson to be one-third of the winds velocity and this is recorded by the dial attached to an endless winding screw. The whole is made more portable by the fact that the cups can be easily removed.
This object was made by the instrument maker J. Hicks of 8 Hatton Garden, London. While acquired by Sydney Observatory it was lent sometime in the late 1800s to the meteorological station at Lismore where it remained until 1906 when it was returned.
This instrument remains significant due to its pioneering role in Australian science and its association with Australia's earliest astronomers. It is also significant for its association with nineteenth century meteorological instruments and instrument makers.