Georges Claude bigraphy, stories - Prolific inventor and industrialist. Politician and German collaborator in the Second World War.

Georges Claude : biography

September 24, 1870 - May 23, 1960

Georges Claude (September 24, 1870May 23, 1960) was a French engineer and inventor. He is noted for his early work on the industrial liquefaction of air, for the invention and commercialization of neon lighting, and for a large experiment on generating energy by pumping cold seawater up from the depths. Paid access. Considered by some to be "the Edison of France", he was an active collaborator with the German occupiers of France during the Second World War, for which he was imprisoned in 1945 and stripped of his honors.

Early career

Georges Claude studied at the École supérieure de physique et de chimie industrielles de la ville de Paris (ESPCI). He then held several positions. He was an electrical inspector in a cable factory and the laboratory manager in an electric works. He founded and edited a magazine, L'Étincelle Électrique (The Electric Spark); his important friendship with Jacques-Arsène d'Arsonval apparently dates from this time. About 1896, Claude learned of the explosion risk for bottled acetylene, which was used at the time for lighting. Acetylene is explosive when stored under pressure. Claude showed that acetylene dissolved well in acetone, equivalent to storing it under 25 atmospheres of pressure, which reduced the risk in handling the gas.

Selected bibliography

Claude wrote several semi-popular descriptions of his research, in addition to his wartime tracts and a memoir.

  • Claude's first book, Electricity Made Accessible to Everyone, was a very popular exposition. It won the Prix Hébert de l’Académie des Sciences, and was translated into German. Christine Blondel writes of it, "In fact the success of the book was enormous. More than 60,000 copies were sold, nearly double the number of Jean Perrin's famous book, Les atomes."
  • Liquid Air: Its production, its properties, and its applications, published shortly after the founding of Air Liquide.
  • Translated by Henry E. P. Cottrell from
  • . Bulletin, No. 486. On the Utilization of the thermal energy of the seas.
  • My Battle Against the High Cost of Living. La vie chère literally refers to "dear life" (expensive living). It was an obsession of interwar France (1919–1939).
  • My Life and My Inventions, Claude's autobiography, published a few years before his death in 1960.

Ocean thermal energy conversion

In 1935, Claude constructed another plant, this time aboard a 10,000-ton cargo vessel moored off the coast of Brazil. Weather and waves destroyed both plants before they could become net power generators. (Net power is the amount of power generated after subtracting power needed to run the system.)

Liquefaction of air

In 1902 Claude devised what is now known as the Claude system for liquifying air. The system enabled the production of industrial quantities of liquid nitrogen, oxygen, and argon; Claude's approach competed successfully with the earlier system of Carl von Linde (1895). Claude and businessman Paul Delorme founded L'Air Liquide, S.A. (Air Liquide), which is presently a large multinational corporation headquartered in Paris, France.

Wartime collaboration and post-war imprisonment

Even as a young engineer, Claude was unsympathetic to democratic rule. In 1933 he joined the Action française, which favored restoration of a monarchy in France. He was a close friend of the monarchist leader Charles Maurras. Following the 1940 defeat of France by Germany at the beginning of the Second World War, the subsequent German occupation of northern France and the German installation of the Vichy regime in the south, Claude publicly supported French collaboration with Germany. Among his other activities, he published several tracts supporting collaboration. He was a member of a Distinguished Committee of the Groupe Collaboration, which had been founded in September, 1940. He was nominated by the Vichy regime as a member of the Conseil National Consultatif in 1941.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine