DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

July 3, 2014

Library program to honor Derry scientist


Derry News

---- — DERRY — A local "man of science" will be featured in an upcoming program at Derry Public Library.

The library's summer reading program features a science theme this year and will host a program on one of the town's most famed scientists, Edmund R. Angell, part of a continuing series on local history.

The program is Monday, July 14, at 6:30 p.m. and will be led by Derry town historian Richard Holmes.

Angell was a well-educated man who taught science and chemistry at Pinkerton Academy. He served as the Academy's headmaster from 1876 to 1885. He was also instrumental in the hiring of Robert Frost to teach English at Pinkerton.

Angell was eventually appointed New Hampshire's first state chemist in 1882 and was often in demand to testify in court as the state's forensic expert.

He also worked evaluating water quality at the grand hotels in the state's White Mountains and also inspected the cleanliness of dairy farms. Angell personally visited almost every school in the state to make sure drinking water was clean and safe.

In the 1890s, Angell began bottling Lafayette Mineral Spring Water and also manufactured and sold his best known invention — a device to light homes by the burning of acetylene gas.

That was sold across the globe and was even used locally i\to light the Odd Fellows Hall and Chester's town hall.

During the library program, Holmes will show some of Angell's inventions.

Angell was also an accomplished photographer and some of his works were purchased recently by the Derry Heritage Commission, with support from Pinkerton's Alumni Association. Angell's photo subjects ranged from town buildings, to everyday life in Derry, community activities and recreation.

A local Eagle Scout, Andy Stock, presented a display of some of Angell's works and inventions for his Eagle project. He displayed the items in the Alumni Center at Pinkerton.

Call the library at 432-6140 for information. The program is free and open to the public.