The Differential Magnet House was erected at Melbourne Observatory in 1867 and demolished in 1877.

A set of magnetic instruments recorded the hourly changes in the intensity, inclination or dip in the earth's magnetic field. Hourly measurements were susceptible to the effects of changes in temperature, so the instruments were placed ina building with thick walls. Governmetn Astronomer Robert Ellery reported in his 1869 Annual Report that a new magnet house had been built, consisting of an octagonal room of 20 feet diameter, a photographic room, double walls and shingle roof to keep the temperature even. The Differential Magnet House was replaced by a new Magnet House in 1877, in order to bring together all self-registering apparatus under the one roof.

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Differential magnet house at Melbourne Observatory, circa 1870.

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