26.12.1801 Cahors/F - 11.1.1872 Paris/F
Charles Combes entered Ecole Polytechnique in 1817 and graduated in 1822 from Ecole des Mines, Paris. In 1823 already, Combes presented a paper on the maximum power of steam - and attracted the attention of Henri Navier (1785-1836). From 1826 Combes was a professor at the Saint Etienne Mining University. In 1832 he was appointed professor of applied mechanics at the Paris Mining University. He was its director from 1857 and took over presidency of the Mining Corps shortly later. He passed away in service in 1872 and remains buried in the Père Lachaise cemetery of Paris.
Combes' life was determined for mines because he undertook considerable efforts to improve the working conditions by proper ventilation. Accordingly, Combes studied the governing laws of air flow in pipelines for which only limited knowledge was available in the early 19th century. His 1845 book on the exploitation of mines summarizes the procedures undertaken in French mining. In the 1850s, Combes took interest in the then novel ventilators and turbines again in relation with mines. Hydraulic machinery was introduced in the 1830s by the French Benoît Fourneyron (1802-1867) who then stayed also at the Mining University of Saint Etienne, and thus was a colleague of Combes. He was elected Member of Académie des Sciences in 1847 and later served also as its president. In his last years, Combes also contributed to questions of thermodynamics again in relation with machinery normally directed to mining engineering. Combes was elected Officer of Légion d'Honneur in 1847 and promoted to Commander in 1860.
Barral, X. (1872). Combes. Bulletin de la Société d'Encouragement 71: 22-31; 71: 210-215. Combes, M. (1837). Sur le mouvement de l'air dans les tuyaux de conduite. Annales des Mines Série 3 12: 373-466.
Combes, C. (1841). Aérage des mines. Carilian-Goeury et Dalmont: Paris.
Combes, C. (1843). Recherches théoriques et expérimentales sur les roues à réaction ou à tuyaux. Carilian-Goeury et Dalmont: Paris.
Combes, C. (1845). Traité de l'exploitation des mines. Carilian-Goeury et Dalmont: Paris. Combes, C. (1869). Etude sur la machine à vapeur. Dunod: Paris.
Lapparent, A. de (1895). Charles Pierre Mathieu Combes. Ecole Polytechnique: Le livre du Centenaire 1794-1894 1: 198-203.
Poggendorff, J.C. (1863). Charles Combes. Literarisch-Biographisches Handwörterbuch 1: 468-469; 3: 292. Barth: Leipzig, with bibliography. P

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.

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