NORBERT RILLIEUX Biography - Pioneers, Explorers & inventors


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Name: Norbert Rillieux                                                             
Born: March 17, 1806                                                               
Died: October 8, 1894                                                             
Norbert Rillieux (March 17, 1806 - October 8, 1894), inventor and engineer, is     
most noted for his invention of the multiple-effect evaporator, an energy-efficient
means of evaporating water. This invention was an important development in the     
growth of the sugar industry. Rillieux was a cousin of painter Edgar Degas.       
Descendants of his family are still living in Louisiana today.                     
Rillieux was born a free quadroon ("quarteron libre") in New Orleans, Louisiana,   
the son of a successful French-born planter/engineer and a freed mulatto woman.     
His father, Vincent Rillieux, was white and his mother, Constance Vivant, was an   
Creole of Color. She was a once slavery|slave on his plantation, but Vincent       
freed her after she was married. It is unknown whether his freedom was inherited,   
as would be the case if his mother had been freed prior to his birth, or           
specifically granted by his father.