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The development of evaporation measurement techniques are documented first, commencing with the Wagon Wheel Gap catchment water balance (1921), through mass budget to water transfer methods, and use of scintillometry. Dalton's seminal essay On Evaporation (1802) starts the selection of papers on evaporation estimation, which then covers atmospheric controls on the evaporation process (the original Penman and Thornthwaite papers are reproduced), vegetation controls via transpiration and interception, and finally evaporation as a component of the global climate system. The Commentaries explain the context and significance of each paper.