Sharon Kleyne Remembers Moses N. Baker

Water Advocate Sharon Kleyne Notes Anniversary of Water Pioneer’s Death. Clean Drinking Water Visionary Baker Left Lasting Water Research Legacy.

Sharon Kleyne, host of the nationally syndicated radio program, The Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water, Global Climate Change and Your Health on Voice America, observed on the air that February 7th marked the anniversary of Moses N. Baker’s death.

“Who is Moses N. Baker, some of you are probably asking,” said Kleyne. Well,” she continued, “I’m happy to school you! Moses N. Baker, who died on this day in 1955 at the age of 91, was a celebrated author and editor in the field of drinking water technology and history, and his most important book is still in use to this very day.” Baker spent years researching and writing his epic, The Quest for Pure Water: The History of Water Purification from the Earliest Records to the Twentieth Century, which first appeared in 1938 and was reprinted in 1981.

Sharon Kleyne, America’s leading water researcher and water advocate, shared how Baker’s career began when he was hired in 1887 as Associate Editor of Engineering News. Baker served this publication and the consolidated weekly, Engineering News-Record, which launched in 1917, for 45 years (he retired in 1932). These publications provided the definitive news about technological advances in the treatment and control of drinking water and sewage for many years in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

“As a research scientist,” Kleyne said, “Moses N. Baker amassed a huge personal library of books and source documents that he consulted in writing his groundbreaking book. Baker donated this collection,” Kleyne explained, to the American Water Works Association, which later transferred it in 1945 to the Engineering Societies Library in New York City for safekeeping. But alas,” Kleyne said, “the Engineering Societies Library closed down in 1998 and Baker’s entire collection was sold off to various bidders.”

Still, Sharon Kleyne pointed out, Baker’s legacy is quite safe. In addition to his book and work as an editor, Baker was a valuable member of many professional organizations and societies. These included the American Water Works Association, the New England Water Works Association and the American Economic Association. Baker also served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the National Municipal League from 1911 to 1918. Baker was on the Montclair, New Jersey Board of Health for twenty years, serving as President in 1915-1916. Baker also served as President of the New Jersey Sanitary Association in 1904.

Sharon Kleyne, the global expert on dehydration of earth’s fresh water and dehydration of the eyes and skin as a result of the excessive evaporation of the body’s water vapor, concluded that the world owes an enormous debt of gratitude to the work and memory of Moses N. Baker. Kleyne encouraged listeners to weigh in with their own thoughts and opinions about Moses N. Baker and the history of clear drinking water in America or elsewhere. “Read this blog and get in touch with us,” Kleyne said. “We want to know what you think.”

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