Howard Freeman

Gordon Library Speaker Series - Howard Freeman Segment

Class of 1940

Making a Difference - Inventor and Entrepreneur

Howard G. Freeman discussed his world-famous inventions that revolutionized fire protection for naval vessels during World War II in the Gordon Library on Monday, March 23, 2009.

At 22 years of age, Freeman began his lifelong series of discoveries, many of which have led to patents. He invented the waterfog nozzle, a device that extinguished oil fires with sea water, saving many ships and thousands of lives during World War II. He also invented a fire-fighting fogfoam nozzle that spared aircraft carriers from fires created by Japanese kamikaze aircraft diving onto the ships' decks. He pioneered crash trucks using fogfoam nozzles, saving lives at airports. In 1954 he invented a high-performance ball valve and founded the highly successful Jamesbury Corporation, a global manufacturer of valves used in nuclear submarines and piping systems.