De Volson Wood

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De Volson Wood
De Volson Wood.jpg
Born (1832-06-01)June 1, 1832
Smyrna, New York, US
Died June 27, 1897(1897-06-27) (aged 65)
Hoboken, New Jersey, US
Nationality United States
Alma mater Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

De Volson Wood (June 1, 1832 – June 27, 1897) was American civil engineer and educator. He invented a steam rock drill[1] and an air compressor[2] and designed an ore dock. Wood was professor, an author of multiple monographs on mathematics and engineering, vice-president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the first president of the American Society for Engineering Education.

Biography[edit]

De Volson Wood, son of Julius and Amanda (Billings) Wood, was born near Smyrna, New York. His studied in a public school, with an additional six weeks in a private academy and two terms in Cazenovia Seminary. In 1849 he began teaching, with which he was occupied until his death, his subsequent education being received while he was himself instructing. He started at Smyrna where he taught for three terms. Desiring to continue his education, he then went to the Albany State Normal School and graduated in 1853. He then obtained his first position as principal, in the Napanoch School, Ulster County, New York. Returning to the closing exercises of the Albany Normal School during a week of vacation, Wood accepted an offer of assistant professorship in mathematics.[3][4]

In 1855, Woods went to study at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, but still did not give up teaching, as the Preparatory Department of the Institute was being organized at that time, and he was asked to teach mathematics there. On graduating with the degree of civil engineer, Woods went west, hoping to obtain a position in Chicago. He stopped for a few days at Detroit and went to see the University of Michigan buildings at Ann Arbor. In a chat after hearing a lecture by President Tappan, Woods was offered professorship in civil engineering, which he accepted and carried for fifteen years. During those years, he received honorary degrees of A.M. and M.Sc. from Hamilton College and the University of Michigan, respectively. He also organized the Department of Civil Engineering.[3][4]

Wood was married in September, 1859, to Cordera E. Crane, who died in June, 1866 leaving one child. In August, 1868, he married Fannie M. Hartson, by whom he had six children.[3][4]

Drawing from the Wood's rock drill patent

Wood was a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers from 1871 to 1885, and a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) from 1879 to his death. He became vice-president of AAAS in 1885. He was also a member of the American Mathematical Society, an honorary member of the American Society of Architects, a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the first president of the American Society for Engineering Education (1893–1894). He invented the "Wood's Steam Rock-Drill" and various other devices and published several dozen books and articles in scientific journals on mathematics, engineering and thermodynamics. His major works include the following:[3][4][5]

References[edit]

This article incorporates text from a work in the public domain: Franklin De Ronde Furman (1905) Morton memorial; a history of the Stevens institute of technology, with biographies of the trustees, faculty, and alumni, and a record of the achievements of the Stevens family of engineers. Hoboken, N. J., Stevens institute of technology

  1. ^ De Volson Wood "Rock-drill" U.S. Patent 319,653 Issue date: June 9, 1885
  2. ^ De Volson Wood "Improvement in air-compressors" U.S. Patent 180,443 Issue date: August 1, 1876
  3. ^ a b c d Franklin De Ronde Furman (1905) Morton memorial; a history of the Stevens institute of technology, with biographies of the trustees, faculty, and alumni, and a record of the achievements of the Stevens family of engineers. Hoboken, N. J., Stevens institute of technology
  4. ^ a b c d F. P. Matz (1895). "Biography: De Volson Wood". The American Mathematical Monthly. 2 (9/10): 253–256. doi:10.2307/2969269. JSTOR 2969269. 
  5. ^ Online Books by De Volson Wood. library.upenn.edu