The exhibit highlights notable Kentuckians, including one of our innovative engineers
The Kentucky Historical Society has opened a People of Kentucky exhibit that includes information on Charles Hermany, Louisville Water’s chief engineer from 1861 to 1908. The exhibit will run through October 14 at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History (100 W. Main St. in Frankfort).
The exhibit spotlights both well known and not-so-well-known Kentuckians through stories, objects and photographs. The society says the featured people “contributed to the larger story of Kentucky.”
Louisville Water supplied photos, information and artifacts relating to Hermany. As chief engineer, he helped design the water tower, original pumping station, reservoir and Crescent Hill water treatment plant.
For many years, Hermany worked to fulfill his dream of supplying filtered water to Louisville. Scientific advances in the latter half of the 19th century proved the existence of germs and found that dirty water could be harmful, even deadly.
Hermany experimented with various filtration methods, and his work paved the way for experiments headed by noted scientist George Warren Fuller.
Hermany’s quest for purified water became a reality when the Crescent Hill Filtration Plant began operating on July 13, 1909. Unfortunately, he didn’t live to see this achievement. He died a year earlier — on the same day the new system was first tested.
The Kentucky Historical society’s museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission rates are adults: $8; youths (aged 6-18), $6; veterans, $6; children (5 and under), KHS and KJHS members, free.