Nils Gissler (1715–71) was a remarkable Swedish scientist and physician who appears to be the first to describe the inverted barometer effect, based on joint observations of sea level and atmospheric pressure at Härnösand, a small town on the Gulf of Bothnia. He not only observed that when the atmospheric pressure increased, the sea level dropped, but that the degree of sea level decrease depended upon weather conditions. He also looked at ancient rocky beach terraces and pondered about their age and method of formation. The present article looks at the life and times of this remarkable man, gives a full translation of his original 1747 article, and points out his legacy.

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*School of Oceanography, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

+Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett, Rhode Island.