Atwater, Wilbur Olin, 1844–1907, American agricultural chemist, b. Johnsburg, N.Y. He was professor at several American universities and helped to set up and later became director of the first state agricultural experiment station (in Connecticut) in the United States. Along with Edward Bennett Rosa, he developed the respiration calorimeter, determined the calorific value of many foods, and prepared calorie tables widely used today. In 1888 he founded and headed the Office of Experiment Stations for the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.
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