PERGHEM
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29.4.1845 Trient/I - 26.4.1913 Wien/A
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Johann Perghem made his engineering studies in Padova from 1863 to 1867 and then started his career as a civil engineer, first with the Vienna Hochquellen-Leitung for the water supply of the capital. He was transferred in 1874 back to Trient, today's Trento in Northern Italy, then an Imperial Austrian city in South Tyrol. There he contributed to the regulation works of Etsch (Adige) River, which he directed after 1887 as a chief engineer. Adige River is known as a torrent south of the Alps that led to large inundations over centuries and significant improvements of life conditions of the population must be attributed to Perghem. He was awarded the Baurat title in 1894 and given a medal for his merits three years later. The sources of Adige River are close to the Swiss border, the river then runs to Merano and passes Bolzano, Trento and Rovereto to run finally into Po River. Adige River is the second largest of Italian rivers after Po. The plains between the river sources and Trento are currently extensively used for agricultural purposes, among which the apple plantation is of particular note. This successful change initiated only some decades ago, once the river had received a sufficiently large bed and the plains were protected against inundations.
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Perghem took over as a director the engineering department of the Trento County in 1898, where he continued works in river engineering until retirement in 1909. He had finally the title of an Oberbaurat and was then internationally known as an outstanding river engineer. During the Adige River restoration exhibition in Verona in 1895, he was awarded the Order of the Crown from the Italian emperor. Perghem passed away due to a serious illness. The South Tyrol became an Italian province after World War I, when the Austrian Empire was reduced to some 10% of the former surface. Today, the Alto Adige counts to the richest provinces of Italy, mainly due to its excellent location between North and South Europe and a flourishing industry and agriculture.
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Anonymous (1913). K.k. Oberbaurat d.R. Johann B. Perghem. Österreichische Wochenschrift für den Öffentlichen Baudienst 19(23): 415. P
Donner, J. (1973). 100 Jahre Wiener Hochquellenleitung. Österreichische Wasserwirtschaft
25(9/10): 169-172.
Kreuter, F. (1910). Flussbau. Handbuch der Ingenieurwissenschaften 3(2), ed. 3. Engelmann: Leipzig.

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.

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