July 24, 1998: Enron Aquires Wessex; 1844: Steam Engine Patent; 1855: Water Meter Patent

0724 EnronJuly 24, 1998Enron Corporation, electricity and gas company in Houston, TX, signed deal to acquire British-based Wessex Water, PLC for $2.2 billion–which was reportedly paid in cash; signaled Enron’s first move towards creating a global water subsidiary—Azurix.

Commentary: The global water business of Azurix crashed and burned just like the parent company. I had some connections with the folks planning the future of their water holdings and it was clear from the beginning that they had little clue about what they were doing. Near the end, I attended a reception hosted by Azurix at the AWWA annual conference in Denver. After a conversation with an attorney for the company over drinks, it was clear to me that the days of the company were numbered.

Henry Rossiter Worthington

Henry Rossiter Worthington

July 24, 1844: “Henry Rossiter Worthington received a patent for a “Steam-Boiler Water-Feeder” (new and useful improvements in the manner of constructing and governing auxiliary steam-engines for the purpose of supplying steam-boilers with water”); independent single direct-acting steam power pump, laid the foundation of the entire pump industry.

0724 water metre 1875July 24, 1855 – A patent issued for a “Water Metre” (a new and useful Meter for Measuring the Quantity of Flowing Liquids”); one of the first practical water meters in the United States.

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