Some Notes on the First Weinblum Memorial Lecture

The first Weinblum Lecture was given on November  22nd, 1978 at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin by John V. Wehausen, Weinblum's close friend. The lecture was part of the Special Session of the Expert Committee for Ship Hydrodynamics of The German Society for Maritime Technology (STG), which, in turn took place within the 75-Year VWS Jubilee Symposium [5].

The lecture was successfully organised under the auspices of Karl Wieghardt, who has this to say about the suit Wehausen wore [1]:

We can be satisfied with the first Weinblum Memorial Lecture. There were about 150 people there, more than in the previous talks [...]

Some say it was a too little pompous; but how can you turn Wehausen into a white elephant? (He was, after all, wearing a black suit that he had to buy once here on the orders from Weinblum, with a silver-grey tie.)

Original Text in German

Mit der ersten Weinblum-Gedächtnis-Vorlesung können wir wohl zufrieden sein. Es waren etwa 150 Leute da, mehr als in den vorangegangenen Vorträgen [...]

Manchen soll es zu wenig pompös gewesen sein; aber wie kann man Wehausen zum weissen Elefanten aufputzen? (Er hatte aber einen schwarzen Anzug an, den er einmal hier auf Befehl von Weinblum kaufen musste, mit silbergrauer Krawatte.)


The Selection Committee quickly came to an agreement on the first lectureship – in less than two minutes [2]:

You see, the selection committee just mentioned met in June in Washington for the first time. Its task was formidable and without precedent, but, the whole session took about 100 seconds or may be 2 minutes time.


It has, and rightfully so, never been that simple or clear-cut again. While the Committee easily decided on Wehausen, Wehausen himself wrestled with all kinds of decisions for his own lecture [3]:

I've been meaning to write all week, but I cannot think of a title that I like. [...] I think that I can find enough to fill an hour's lecture without any difficulty and it seems to me that the topic would be appropriate for the first lecture. But what to call it? "Further Developments and Consequences of G.P.W.'s Work" sounds pedestrian and stilted. "G.P.W.'s Work Revisited" is something hackneyed. I would like to continue thinking about it.


Wehausen ended up dividing his lecture in two parts: "Ship Theory, Ship Design and Georg Weinblum. Transient Phenomena Observed in Passage over Obstructions" [4].


[1] Letter from Karl Wieghardt to Som Deo Sharma (in German)
[2] Manuscript of the opening speech given by Karl Wieghardt
[3] Letter from John V. Wehausen to Karl Wieghardt
[4] Manuscript of the first Weinblum Memorial Lecture on tub.dok


[5] see Schiff & Hafen/Kommandobrücke, issue 1/1979, volume 31, p. 33 (in German)