Froude, William

Froude, William
SUBJECT AREA: Ports and shipping
b. 1810 Dartington, Devon, England
d. 4 May 1879 Simonstown, South Africa
English naval architect; pioneer of experimental ship-model research.
Froude was educated at a preparatory school at Buckfastleigh, and then at Westminster School, London, before entering Oriel College, Oxford, to read mathematics and classics. Between 1836 and 1838 he served as a pupil civil engineer, and then he joined the staff of Isambard Kingdom Brunel on various railway engineering projects in southern England, including the South Devon Atmospheric Railway. He retired from professional work in 1846 and lived with his invalid father at Dartington Parsonage. The next twenty years, while apparently unproductive, were important to Froude as he concentrated his mind on difficult mathematical and scientific problems. Froude married in 1839 and had five children, one of whom, Robert Edmund Froude (1846–1924), was to succeed him in later years in his research work for the Admiralty. Following the death of his father, Froude moved to Paignton, and there commenced his studies on the resistance of solid bodies moving through fluids. Initially these were with hulls towed through a house roof storage tank by wires taken over a pulley and attached to falling weights, but the work became more sophisticated and was conducted on ponds and the open water of a creek near Dartmouth. Froude published work on the rolling of ships in the second volume of the Transactions of the then new Institution of Naval Architects and through this became acquainted with Sir Edward Reed. This led in 1870 to the Admiralty's offer of £2,000 towards the cost of an experimental tank for ship models at Torquay. The tank was completed in 1872 and tests were carried out on the model of HMS Greyhound following full-scale towing trials which had commenced on the actual ship the previous year. From this Froude enunciated his Law of Comparisons, which defines the rules concerning the relationship of the power required to move geometrically similar floating bodies across fluids. It enabled naval architects to predict, from a study of a much less expensive and smaller model, the resistance to motion and the power required to move a full-size ship. The work in the tank led Froude to design a model-cutting machine, dynamometers and machinery for the accurate ruling of graph paper. Froude's work, and later that of his son, was prodigious and covered many fields of ship design, including powering, propulsion, rolling, steering and stability. In only six years he had stamped his academic authority on the new science of hydrodynamics, served on many national committees and corresponded with fellow researchers throughout the world. His health suffered and he sailed for South Africa to recuperate, but he contracted dysentery and died at Simonstown. He will be remembered for all time as one of the greatest "fathers" of naval architecture.
Principal Honours and Distinctions
FRS. Honorary LLD Glasgow University.
1955, The Papers of William Froude, London: Institution of Naval Architects (the Institution also published a memoir by Sir Westcott Abell and an evaluation of his work by Dr R.W.L. Gawn of the Royal Corps of Naval Constructors; this volume reprints all Froude's papers from the Institution of Naval Architects and other sources as diverse as the British Association, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Institution of Civil Engineers.
Further Reading
A.T.Crichton, 1990, "William and Robert Edmund Froude and the evolution of the ship model experimental tank", Transactions of the Newcomen Society 61:33–49.

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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  • Froude, William — born Nov. 28, 1810, Dartington, Devon, Eng. died May 4, 1879, Simonstown, S.Af. British engineer and naval architect. He was the brother of James Anthony Froude. In 1837 he became an assistant to I.K. Brunel, for whom he oversaw railway… …   Universalium

  • Froude, William — (28 nov. 1810, Dartington, Devon, Inglaterra–4 may. 1879, Simonstown, Sudáfrica). Ingeniero y arquitecto naval británico, hermano de James Anthony Froude. En 1837 asumió como asistente de I.K. Brunel, para quien supervisó la construcción de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • FROUDE, WILLIAM —    another brother, a civil engineer, assistant to Brunel; made important discoveries in hydro dynamics of great practical avail (1810 1879) …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • William Froude — [fruːd] (* 28. November 1810 in Dartington, Devon, England; † 4. Mai 1879 in Simonstown, Südafrika) war ein englischer Schiffbauingenieur und Forscher auf dem Gebiet der Hydrodynamik. Froude war ein Bruder des Historikers James Anthony Froude.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • William — /wil yeuhm/, n. 1. a word formerly used in communications to represent the letter W. 2. a male given name: from Germanic words meaning will and helmet. * * * (as used in expressions) Huddie William Ledbetter Aberhart William George William… …   Universalium

  • William — (as used in expressions) William Alexander Abbott Aberhart, William George William Russell Amis, Sir Kingsley (William) Ashley, William Henry Ashton, Sir Frederick (William Mallandaine) Barkley, Alben W(illiam) Bartram, William William Allen… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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