Hunting New England Shipwrecks

Harold Edgerton (1903-1990)

edgerton-throck.JPG (24198 bytes)Harold Edgerton, standing in picture at right (click image to enlarge) was born and raised in Nebraska. He pursued a career in electrical engineering and moved to Massachusetts in 1926 to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In over 60 years at MIT, he served as as a researcher, instructor and professor. Throughout his career, "Doc" Edgerton was a prolific inventor and scientist. His most famous invention was the stroboscope, or electronic flash. The strobe was the key to the development of high-speed photography and its many practical applications.

vineyardlight.jpg (78511 bytes)Later in his career, Edgerton developed side-scan sonar and other underwater sensing devices. In recent years, these devices have revolutionized the field of underwater search and mapping. Click the thumbnail picture at right to see a side-scan sonar image of the sunken Vineyard Lightship (off the Massachusetts coast).

Edgerton's development of underwater sensing devices led him into underwater research projects  with the National Geographic Society, Jacques Cousteau, and other well-known wreck hunters. Despite his high-profile associations, Doc Edgerton always remained a friend and mentor to students, divers and shipwreck researchers.

As a tribute to Edgerton's scientific achievements, his home town of Aurora, Nebraska has created a children's science center, called the Edgerton Explorit Center. To learn more about Doc Edgerton and the Explorit Center, click here.


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Copyright 2001 by Dave Clancy
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