Arthur Casagrande

By Noah Gasch


Arthur Casagrande was born on August 28, 1902. As a child he didn't have a lot and his family was poor, World War 1 was going on while he was in his teens and the only person that supported his family was his dad. Sadly in 1924 his dad died, leaving the weight of their family on Arthur's shoulders.
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Taking Apprenticship

Arthur loved engineering geology and geotechnical engineering. In 1924 (the same year his dad died) he was chosen right away to be the private apprentice of Karl Terzaghi. He helped Karl with many projects. When Karl got a scholarship Vienna Arthur traveled there with him to help. They made a soil mechanics laboratory that would one day become the most famous research centers in soil mechanics.

Taking Over

He finally moved back to MIT with a better knowledge than before. With the things that Karl Terzaghi had taught him he him self created the Liquid Limit Apparatus, the Hydrometer Test, the horizontal capillary test, the odometer apparatus, and the shear box. All of which are prototypes still used today.
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From Inventor To Teacher

In 1932 Arthur said farewell to his friend Karl and took up a teaching job at Harvard University. He was later promoted to a newly created chair of soil mechanics and foundation engineering in 1926. In 1994 Arthur went on a train that held more than 400 U.S. soldiers. He went into the program Army Corps of Engineers. He was also credited on the first ever International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering.


Casagrande won many awards throughout his career, including being named the first ever Rankine Lecturer by the British Geotechnical Association as well as a Terzaghi Lecturer by ASCE. A number of awards have been established in his honor.

The End

September 6, 1981 the amazing soil engineer died in his sleep at 79.