Clemens Herschel, Resident 1879 – 1889

by Laurel | December 20th, 2013

03 March 1930

Clemens Herschel about 1906

Clemens Herschel about 1906

Noted Engineer, Former Resident of Holyoke, Dead

Clemens Herschel Was for 10 Years Hydraulic Expert for the Holyoke Water Power Company

Glenridge, NJ., March 2 — Clemens Herschel, 88, internationally known hydraulic engineer, author and former president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, died at his home here last night.

Mr. Herschel probably was best known for his invention of the Venturi meter, a device without working parts for the measurement of the flow of liquids through conduits. This meter is now in use throughout the world. For its invention he was awarded Elliott-Cresson gold medals of the Franklin institute of Philadelphia.

He was the author of several books of hydraulics, the most notable being “Frontinue, and the water supply of the city of Rome.” This he wrote from notes and plans of Frontinue, which he found in an old monastery in Italy.

He graduated from Harvard University in 1860. From 1879 to 1889 he was connected with the Holyoke (Mass.) Water Power Company and was engineer and superintendent of the East Jersey Water Company from 1889 – 1900, during which time he designd and built the new water supply system for the city of Newark and adjacent communities. From 1881 to 1883 he was railroad commissioner of Massachusetts.

He was a member of the Boston Society of Civil Engineers and the London Society of Civil Engineers. He also was a member of the Boston Union Club, and of the Century and Engineer’s Clubs at New York City. His Office was in New York.

Invented Testing Flume While at Holyoke

Holyoke, MA  — Clemens Herschel is well remembered by the older people of Holyoke. He lived in the residence that later was occupied for years by the late John S. McElwain and which is now the home of Mr. and Mrs. William Whiting 2d. He was prominent in Holyoke social life during his stay here from 1879 to 1889.

It was Clemens Herschel’s idea to make each waterwheel that takes water from the Holyoke canals a meter to register the water used. To this end it was necessary to test these wheel at all heads and the idea of the Holyoke testing flume was evolved by him. This flume became nationally known and water wheels came from all parts of the world to be tested for many years after.

He was also the inventor of the Venturi water meter the only successful water meter for large water pipes. John Cook,. who later became prominent in New Jersey water works and J. Walter Smith, later to be a famous engineer, worked under M. Herschel while he was in Holyoke.

He kept in touch with Holyoke after leaving the city and corresponded often with Engineer James L. Tighe. He was vigorous to the last, but the past year or so had been handicapped by rheumatism. He took much interest in Holyoke hydraulic plans and water-works. Fred Cool and William C. Gaylord were employed at the waterpower office during his stay here. He was also consulted by many corporations and had been retained in the suit of the Holyoke Water Power Company against the Whiting Paper Company.

Married Thomsonville Woman

Thompsonville, CT — Clemens Herschel who died in Glen Ridge, NJ last night was the husband of a former local woman as he married Jeanette Begg Hunter in March of 1910. She is the youngest daughter of the late John Hunter, who for many years conducted a business in this village, and is a sister of Frederick E. Hunter of Enfield Street. She survives with one son, Clemens, Jr., who is a student in Exeter academy. Also surviving him are two sons by a former wife (Grace Hobard, who died in 1898) Arthur of New York city, and Winslow Herschel of Washington, and a daughter Mrs. Hobart (Clementine) Rawson of Bayside, Long Island. The funeral will be held Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 at the home in Glen Ridge.

From The Springfield Republican, image from Wiki Commons.

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