PRONY, GASPARD CLAIR FRANCOIS MARIE RICHE DE (1755-1839), French engineer, was born at Chamelet, in the department of the Rhone, on the 22nd of July 1755, and was educated at the ficole des Fonts et Chauss6es. His Memoire sur la poussee des voutes published in 1783, in defence of the principles of bridge construction introduced by his master J. R. Perronnet, attracted special attention. The laborious enterprise of drawing up the famous Tables du Cadastre was entrusted to his direction in 1792, and in 1794 he was appointed professor of the mathematical sciences at the ficole Polytechnique, becoming director at the ficole des Fonts et Chausse'es four years later. He was employed by Napoleon to superintend the engineering operations for protecting the province of Ferrara against the inundations of the Po and for draining and improving the Pontine Marshes. After the Restoration he was likewise engaged in regulating the course of the Rhone, and in several other important works. He was made a baron in 1828, and a peer in 1835. He died at Asnieres (Seine) on the 29th of July 1839. For the " Prony Brake " see DYNAMOMETER.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)