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Rogers Field

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Rogers Field (1831-1900)


1900 Obituary [1]

ROGERS FIELD, eldest son of Mr. Edwin Wilkins Field, solicitor, of London, was born in 1831, and was educated at University College School and University College, Gower Street, and graduated BA. London.

He was articled in 1853 to Mr. Thomas Wicksteed, under whom he was engaged on the Leicester sewerage and the Scarborough waterworks.

From 1859 to 1864 he was employed on drainage and reclamation works for Mr. Bailey Denton; and since the latter year he was in practice in Westminster-at first alone and latterly in partnership with Mr. A. T. Bean - as an Hydraulic and Drainage Engineer.

Mr. Field’s work was characterized by thoroughness and attention to detail; the science and practice of hydraulics had a peculiar fascination for him, and he was never so happy as when making, in the experimental laboratory attached to his offices, hydraulic investigations involving minute accuracy. He devoted himself with great energy to the practical application of the principles governing the sanitation of buildings, and did much to raise this important subject to a scientific level. The by-laws and regulations for house drainage framed by him in 1876 for the town of Uppingham were among the first of the kind; they attracted considerable attention, and were substantially adopted by the Local Government Board in their model by-laws of 1877 as to house drainage.

Mr. Field designed and superintended the construction of the water-supply, drainage, and sewage disposal arrangements of a number of public institutions, hospitals, asylums, schools and private residences throughout the country, including the drainage of Sandringham House and Bagshot Park. He was interested in the question of the drainage of agricultural land, and also in that of sewage disposal, and was in favour of sewage purification by application to land wherever practicable, by broad irrigation either over porous land or over specially prepared filtration-areas well under-drained. He was the inventor of Field’s engineering aneroid-barometer, having an adjustable scale which takes into account the variable temperature of the air. The principle of adjustment is that of shifting the altitude-scale according to the temperature of the air, and the scale having been set according to the temperature likely to prevail during the observations, it will be found that the readings will give at once the differences of elevation with great accuracy. In all questions relating to meteorology he was particularly interested, and paid much attention to rainfall, evaporation and percolation, and the movement of underground water, on which he contributed some valuable chapters to a work entitled, “Our Homes, and how to make them Healthy,” published in 1883.

He drew up in 1892 a pamphlet issued by the Commissioners in Lunacy, entitled “Practical suggestions as to water-supply, drainage, and sewage disposal for Lunatic Asylums,” as a guide to Engineers and Surveyors having to deal with such matters.

Mr. Field carried out an extensive series of experiments on the working of siphons, resulting in the particular form of annular self-acting siphon which he invented and brought to a high standard of perfection. These siphons have, from their reliability in action, been very extensively used for flushing purposes in drainage and sewerage works in this country, and also in many places abroad, particularly in America, where they have been adopted in conjunction with the Waring system of sewage disposal of isolated establishments by means of a siphon-tank and sub-irrigation drains.

Mr. Field took great interest in the Parkes Museum of Hygiene and the Sanitary Institute, of the Council of which body he was an active member. For many years he was engaged in carrying out for that Institute an exhaustive series of experiments on air meters, cowls and terminals. He was one of the Judges at the International Medical and Sanitary Exhibition of 1881, and was on the Committee of the International Health Exhibition of 1884, and prepared the sections of the "Handbook on the Water-Supply and Disposal of Sewage of Country Houses," published by the Executive Council of that Exhibition.

Mr. Field died at his residence, Squire’s Mount, Hampstead, on the 28th March, 1900, aged 68.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 9th January, 1866, and was transferred to the class of Members on the 29th May, 1877.


1900 Obituary [2]



See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1900 Institution of Civil Engineers: Obituaries
  2. Engineering 1900 Jan-Jun: Index: General Index