And today, Rillieux's evaporators are used for everything from desalting sea water to recycling processes in the space station. InForstall, having heard about Rillieux's research into sugar refining, offered him the position of Head Engineer at the not-yet-completed sugar refinery.
It is perhaps most extraordinary that Rillieux invented his device before the Civil War, at a time when the vast majority of African Americans were enslaved. But the majority of free blacks resulted from sexual relations between white men and black women.
Back to top Norbert Rillieux and Edgar Degas The great French impressionist painter, Edgar Degas, visited New Orleans ina time when the city, still recovering from the ravages of the Civil War, was in the throes of Reconstruction and under Federal control.
Ina visiting Louisiana sugar planter found Rillieux deciphering hieroglyphics at the Bibliotheque Nationale. Returned to New Orleans Rillieux was not successful in promoting his idea to French sugar processors, but a fellow native of New Orleans, Edmund Forstall, became of aware of his growing reputation in the uses of steam and his growing proficiency in engineering, and asked Rillieux to return to his hometown as the chief engineer of a sugar refinery.
Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, 29 Jul Slaves suffered disfiguring burn scars and unbearable working conditions.