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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract - HISTORY OF SOIL SCIENCE

Who Invented the Tensiometer?


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 65 No. 1, p. 1-3
    Received: Apr 3, 2000

    * Corresponding author(s): dani@mendel.usu.edu
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  1. Dani Or *
  1. Department of Plants, Soils and Biometeorology, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322-4820


The invention of the tensiometer for measurement of soil water matric potential is commonly attributed to Willard Gardner, with the first robust design for field applications attributed to Lorenzo A. Richards during the early 1920s. However, evidence shows that the original design was proposed by Burton E. Livingston as early as 1908 (perhaps earlier) with advanced implementation of similar concepts for “measuring the capillary lift of soils” by Lynde and Dupre in 1913.

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Copyright © 2001. Soil Science SocietyPublished in Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J.65:1–3.