High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! Norbert Rillieux (March 17, 1806 October 8, 1894), an American inventor and engineer, is most noted for his invention of the multiple-effect evaporator, an energy-efficient means of evaporating water. This invention was an important development in the growth of the sugar industry. Rillieux was a cousin of the painter Edgar Degas. Rillieux was born into a prominent Creole family in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was the son of Vincent Rillieux, a white plantation owner, engineer and inventor, and his placée, Constance Vivant, a free person of color. Norbert was the oldest of seven children. His siblings were: Barthelemy, Edmond, Marie Eugenie, Louis, Marie Eloise, and Cecile Virginie. Norbert's aunt on his father's side, Marie Celeste Rillieux, was the grandmother of painter Edgar Degas. His aunt on his mother's side, Eulalie Vivant, was the mother of Bernard Soulie, one of the wealthiest Gens de Couleur Libre in Louisiana.