Edgar Boulangier

Portrait of Edgar   Boulangier

French civil engineer, indefatigable traveler and compulsive big-game hunter Marie Auguste Edgar Boulangier (1850-1899) visited Cambodia in 1880-1881, his first official mission for which he was granted logistical support by King Norodom. This 'mineralogical-hydrological' exploration was supposed to evaluate Cambodia's natural resources after the establishment of the French Protectorate (ប្រទេសកម្ពុជាក្រោមអាណានិគមបារាំង) in 1863.

An ingénieur des Ponts-et-Chaussées, he published his first book in 1887, a travelogue entitled Chasses au tigre et à l'éléphant: Un hiver au Cambodge (Tours, France, 2d edition 1888) in which he stressed the potential for iron ore and gold extraction, intensive agriculture and commercial exchanges in Cambodia, and offered a rare description of Angkor.

After Indo-China, Boulangier was sent to Subsaharian Africa, Central Asia and Siberia, mostly to study railway transportation and infrastructure development.