Frank A. Perret

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Frank A. Perret on 16 October 1909

Frank Alvord Perret (1867 in Philadelphia – January 12, 1943 in New York City) was an American entrepreneur, inventor, and volcanologist,[1] which drew attention particularly with his research on the Vesuvius, the Kilauea and the Mount Pelée to itself.

He studied physics at Polytechnic Institute of New York University and then received an appointment in the laboratories of Thomas Edison in the Lower East Side, where he worked on the development of engines and participated in the development of dynamos. In 1886, he founded the Elektron Manufacturing Company, together with John A. Barrett, a small company that designed and produced electronic devices. His partner left the project but again very quickly in order to pursue the development of its patented battery. Frank A. Perret became involved in the development of the theory of EMF (s:.Counter-electromotive force, CEMF). He drew the necessary energy from motors DC and invented the electric motor-Perret. In 1889, Perret committed Elihu H. Cutler who should care for the expansion of the company and soon exceeded the demand, production capacity, leading to a new factory in Springfield in Massachusetts. By 1900, Perret went to Italy to improve his health where he met the director of government laboratories in the volcanological observatory on Mount Vesuvius, RV Matteucci. It is going assume that this man introduced him in the volcanology and he began to be interested in this.

The elevator production system was acquired in 1906 by the Otis Elevator Company. Due to ongoing health problems, he left his company in 1904.

In 1906, he also observed together with Matteucci an eruption of the Vesuvius, to whose study he devoted himself until 1921. In a 1950 obituary published Mildred Giblin attested Perret that his monograph on the Vesuvius was "the clearest and most comprehensive report ever on a volcanic eruption and its aftermath published". By the end of the first decade of the 20th century Perret also toured the Kilauea, the Stromboli, the Etna, the Mount Teide and the Sakurajima. In 1909 he decided that the geophysicists Thomas A. Jagar from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Reginald A. Daly of the Harvard University established a permanent monitoring station at Kilauea. This plan was implemented in 1911 on the edge of the crater Halemaumau. The station was the forerunner of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory built in the following year January 1912 and Perret began his research at Kilauea. When Mount Pelée on the French Caribbean island of Martinique became active again, years after the devastating outbreak 1929-27 with an estimated 40,000 dead, Perret was one of the first scientists on site. In the three years of volcanic activity until 1932 he conducted numerous investigations and in 1931 he built on the Morne Lenard above the valley of the Riviere Blanche a small observation hut as the first permanent station on the mountain. Perret stayed more or less continuously a total of about ten years on the island. Today, the Musée Frank A. Perret volcanological museum bears his name to honor him.

1940 Frank A. Perret went back to the United States and wrote several books which he mostly could not publish, but write for the most part. He died at the age of 76.

The scientific contributions of Mr. Perret there are unique in that no other volcanologist the time and it was possible for such a large and varied observations on so many types of active volcanoes perform. He was a daring and astute researcher, tireless in their quest for information. He was a skilled and demanding photographer and his publications are generously illustrated with excellent, scenic shots.

— Frank A. Perret[2]

Publications (selection)

  • The lava fountains of Kilauea inAmerican Journal of Science, No. 4, 1913, Pages 139-148
  • The circulatory system in the Halemaumau lava lake during the summer of 1911in American Journal of Science, No. 4, 1913, Pages 337-349
  • Volcanic research at Kilauea in the summer of 1911in American Journal of Science, No. 4, 1913, Pages 475-488
  • The Eruption of Mount Pelee 1929 - 1932. Carnegie Institution of Washington, Publication 458, Washington DC, 1935
  • "What to expect of a volcano" in Natural History, No. 2, 1937, Pages 99–105
  • (With Milderd Giblin): article in the Bulletin of Volcanology, 1950, Pages 191-195
  • Volcanological Observations, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Publication 549, Washington DC, 1950


  1. ^ "Perret, Frank Alvord". New International Encyclopedia. 18. 1918. p. 364. 
  2. ^ Giblin in an obituary on her research colleagues "Frank A. Perret" (Carnegie Institution for Science). Accessed on 28 February 2010
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