Biographical / Historical
Hartley Rowe (1882-1966) was an electrical engineer who helped build the Panama Canal and worked for the Panama Railroad. Born in Goodland, Indiana, he graduated from Purdue University with a degree in electrical engineering. Soon after graduation, Rowe signed on to work on the American effort to construct the Panama Canal. In June 1908, Rowe married Inez Oswald, who was also from Goodland.
Rowe began work in Panama in 1904 for the Panama Canal Commission. In 1905, he transferred to become an engineer on the Panama Railroad. Rowe managed a power plant in the La Boca neighborhood of Panama City. He also was resident engineer in the Canal Commission's Building Division. In 1919, Rowe moved back to the United States.
Later, Rowe was vice president of the United Fruit Company. In 1944, he worked at Los Alamos as part of the Manhattan Project charged with building an atomic bomb. In 1946, he became a member of the Atomic Energy Commission.
Hartley Rowe died in 1966.
[Sources: Dealer Catalog (Swann Auction Galleries, 2016); Atomic Energy Foundation Online (2017)].