For almost 400 years, barometers have been used to measure atmospheric pressure, a measurement which allows weather forecasts. The inventor of the barometer has been a topic of much dispute, with the Italian physicists and mathematicians, Evangelista Torricelli and Gasparo Berti, both separately being credited as the creator during the early 1640s. The barometer soon became an essential feature of any respectable home, resulting in a demand for elegantly-designed versions. During the 18th and 19th centuries, grand hanging barometers were manufactured across Europe, particularly in England and France, with each country producing characteristic styles; French barometers were often intricately-carved giltwood pieces, whilst typical English barometers were more simply crafted from deep, rich types of wood such as mahogany and rosewood. It is common for barometers from this period to display weather-related words on their face, such as 'rain', 'fair', 'very dry' and 'stormy'.