James Bicheno Francis (1815-1892), British-American hydraulic engineer who invented the mixed-flow, or Francis turbine (a combination of the radial-flow and axial-flow turbines). The Francis turbine was a more efficient successor to the Boyden turbine, developed by Uriah A. Boyden, and is still widely used today in low and medium head hydropower installations. Francis also greatly advanced the scientific methods of testing hydraulic machinery. He was a founding member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and, although unschooled, was considered one of the foremost civil engineers of his time.
Today in Technology History: James Bicheno Francis (The Center for the Study of Technology and Society)