Ignatius A. Heckmiller returns from
reading water levels while his Afghan
assistant steadies the cable.

Helmand Valley, mid-1950s

This innovative ICA hydrologist devised a plan to measure the flow of water in wide rivers like the Helmand. Heckmiller attached a thick cable to automobiles on opposite banks and mounted a traveling carriage onto the suspended cable. From the seat of this carriage, perched high above the river, he could sit comfortably while
taking accurate measurements.

Courtesy of the Photography Collection, Harry Ransom Center,
The University of Texas at Austin. ©David Douglas Duncan.
Courtesy of LIFE Magazine.


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