Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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EMERY, Charles Edward, civil engineer, born in Aurora, New York, 29 March 1838. He was educated at the academy in Canandaigua, New York, and early developed a taste for engineering. In July 1861, he entered the U. S. navy as third assistant engineer, and served on the "Richmond" during engagements at Pensacola, the Mississippi River passes, and finally under Farragut. In December 1862, he was promoted to second assistant engineer, and participated in the blockading of Charleston. In December 1867, he resigned, entered the employ of the Novelty iron works in New York City, and was general superintendent of the first fair of the American institute in its permanent quarters. In 1869 he engaged in business for himself, but soon afterward became consulting engineer of the U. S. coast survey and the U. S. revenue marine, and had charge of the construction of the vessels of the former service until its engineering department was put in the hands of the navy. In connection with chief engineer Charles H. Loring, he instituted a series of experiments to determine the relative value of compound and non-compound engines, and his results were published in scientific journals at home and abroad. In 1879 he was appointed engineer of the New York steam company, and the entire plant of that company was constructed from his designs, and is now (1887) under his direction. The details were entirely new. as the similar work that had been done previously was on a small scale. He invented for this work expansion joints made with thin copper corrugated diaphragms supported on backing plates, and a meter for registering steam when moving at a velocity of eighty feet a second and upward, together with numerous devices for overcoming difficulties encountered in the transmission through the Streets, generation in the building, and the return of the water of condensation. Mr. Emery has made several inventions in connection with steam engines, and has conducted experiments for the purpose of testing the practicability of lining steam cylinders with non-conducting materials. He is one of the nonresident professors of Cornell University, and his lectures have been published in the "Scientific American" supplements. In 1879 he received the honorary degree of Ph.D. from the University of New York. He is the author of technical papers, principally relating to steam engineering, most of which have been contributed to the " Transactions" of the American society of civil engineers, or those of the American society of mechanical engineers, of which organizations 'he is a member.
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