A sunshine recorder is a device that records the amount of sunshine at a given location. The results provide information about the weather and climate as well as the temperature of a geographical area.
It was invented by John Francis Campbell in 1853 and modified in 1879 by Sir George Gabriel Stokes.
This information is useful in meteorology, science, agriculture, tourism, and other fields. It has also been called a heliograph.
There are two basic types of sunshine recorders. One type uses the sun itself as a time-scale for the sunshine readings. The other type uses some form of clock for the time scale.
The major advantage of this type of recorder is its simplicity and ease of use. There are no moving parts and it thus requires very little maintenance.
The unit can be used anywhere in the world with little or no modification to the design.This basic unit is still in use today with very little change. It is widely used outside the United States.
Where the Marvin sunshine recorder is generally the instrument used by the National Weather Service.