Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 17, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
2 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Tuesday, December EVAPORATION UNIT GAINS INTERNATIONAL ACCEPTANCE By CAROL NEUFELD Special Correspondent COALDALE Henry Bergen, 39, of Coaldale is an inVentor now gaining inter- national recognition. His gen atmometer, an instrument that measures evaporation of water, has been ordered by the United Nations. It will be used in post graduate agricultural education research at New Delhi, India. Born in Russia, Mr. Bergen left at an early age in 1941 when the German army advanced far into his homeland. He was educated in this country and Germany. He holds a diploma in mechanical technology from the Southern Alberta In- stitute of Technology. His puzzle solving ability and his perserverence help him complete his inven- tions. The gen atmometer was invented in co operation with A. D. Smith and E. H. Hobbs of the Lethbridge Research Station. It is finding a use in many branches of research and is being requested by other countries. He says his gen atmometer is simple to operate and easy to maintain. It is highly sensitive. Constructed of non corrosive copper materials, it is small enough so any temperature change in the atmosphere will influence it immediately. Mr Bergen says rain has little effect on measurements and it is unaffected by animals or birds. It has a dark evaporating surface that ab- sorbs large amounts of solar energy. An automatic valve controls the flow of water from its reservoir. It is unaffected by wind, easily installed in any area and has a frost damage protection joint. More than 300 of these instruments are now being used in this province. Interest has been shown by scientists in the United States and New Zealand HENRY BERGEN DISPLAYS INSTRUMENT Mr. Bergen worked at the Lethbridge Research Station for about 10 years and com- pleted many inventions there. "I am still improving on some other things but nothing I can really talk about at this he says. Hydrologists, irrigationists, foresters, plant pathologists, agronomists, plant physiologists and botanists will use the gen atmometer. They are interested in the amount of water turned to aqueous vapor in a certain length of time by natural meteorological processes. Scientists in medicine, geography, climatology and areas of engineering are also interested in the evaporation data Mr Bergen's invention provides He helped develop a power plant seeder, cereal plot trimmer, laboratory insecticide sprayer, a seven day mechanical wind speed and direction recorder and a trap for the detection and recovery of insects in stored grain. Many of these inventions are in use at research stations across Canada. "I only hold one patent so he says, "for a mechanical apparatus used to thin row crops. It hasn't been produced but some peo- ple are looking at it. People knowledgeable in the field seem to think it might work." His inventive imagination is wide ranging. He has developed a washing apparatus for use in fibre determination and a ground squirrel trap. Mr. Bergen runs an automobile tune up business here. "One of the functions I carry out here is pollution control work on automobiles. They present quite a problem, especially in our climatic conditions. "Most of the auto pollution control devices are designed for the southern states. Our winter conditions are quite different. By doing this work, eventually we may come up with a better system for our area. "Usually you have to make adjustments and some modifications to come up with better fuel mileage and better performance in general. You don't really take from the effectiveness of the pollution control, actually you improve on them. They seem to be choked up in our area, especially in winter. "There is definitely a need to improve on them to help people get better mileage. It is really ridiculous some people are only getting eight or nine miles per gallon."