- A. Baldwin Wood
Albert Baldwin Wood (
December 1 1879- May 10 1956) was an inventorand engineerfrom New Orleans, Louisiana. He graduated from Tulane Universitywith a Bachelor of Sciencein Mechanical Engineeringin 1899.
Wood was hired by the
Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleansin 1899 to try to improve the flood-prone city's drainage, Wood invented "flapgates" and other hydraulic devices, most notably efficient low maintenance high volume pumps, including the Wood Screw Pump(1913) and the Wood Trash Pump(1915). Wood spearheaded the reclamation from swamp and the efforts to develop much of the land now occupied by the city of New Orleans.
While he spent most of his career in New Orleans, Wood also consulted and designed the drainage, pumping, and
sewagesystems for other locations including Chicago, Milwaukee, Baltimore, San Francisco, as well as projects in Canada, Egypt, China, and India. His work was especially helpful in the Zuiderzee Works, which reclaimed large areas of land from the Zuider Zeein the Netherlands.
Some of Wood's pumps have been in almost continuous use in New Orleans for over 80 years without need of repairs, and new ones continue to be built from his designs.
When Wood died, he left a bequest to Tulane University on the condition that it preserve and display his sailing boat, the Nydia, for 99 years. Until 2003, the boat was housed in a specially constructed glass-fronted display area located between the University Center and
Fogelman Arena. It was moved to make room for the renovation and expansion of the University Center.
Drainage in New Orleans
* [http://www.asme.org/Communities/History/Landmarks/AB_Wood_Screw_Pump_1914.cfm 1974 article on the Wood Screw Pump] by the
American Society of Mechanical Engineers
* [http://www.lhdigest.com/digest/Storypage.cfm?storykey=1859 Lighthouse Digest article] on Baldwin Wood Lighthouse
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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