June 10, 1892: Birth of Abel Wolman. “Abel Wolman (June 10, 1892 – February 22, 1989) was an American inventor, scientist, professor and pioneer of modern sanitary engineering. Wolman was born, grew up, was educated, lived and died in Baltimore, Maryland. He graduated from the Baltimore City College in 1909, got a B.A. from the Johns Hopkins University in 1913 and then a B.S. in engineering from Hopkins in 1915. From 1914 to 1939, Wolman worked for the Maryland State Department of Health, serving as Chief Engineer from 1922 to 1939. It was during his early years there that he made his most important contribution. Working in cooperation with chemist Linn Enslow, he standardized the methods used to chlorinate Baltimore’s drinking-water supply. His efforts there helped develop the plan for Baltimore’s water supply so thoroughly and effectively that it remains well-provided for growth through the 21st century. His work also benefited water systems in New York, Detroit and Columbus, Ohio. A collection of his writings has been published: Water, Health and Society, Selected Papers. Wolman served as the Chairman of the Advisory Council for planning Israel’s National Water Carrier project (1950-1956).
Wolman taught for many years on the faculty of Johns Hopkins University, where he established the Department of Sanitary Engineering in 1937. He served as the department’s chairman until his official retirement in 1962….
Wolman became Editor of the American Water Works Association’s Journal in 1919 and was responsible for making it into a monthly publication in 1924. The Association presents the Abel Wolman Award of Excellence each year to recognize those whose careers in the water works industry exemplify vision, creativity, and excellent professional performance characteristic of Wolman’s long and productive career.”
Commentary: In 2016, I was honored to receive the Abel Wolman Award at the AWWA national conference in Chicago.