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Willibald Weniger Papers, 1908-1955

Collection Overview

Title: Willibald Weniger Papers, 1908-1955

ID: MSS Weniger

Primary Creator: Weniger, Willibald (1884-)

Extent: 0.16 cubic feet

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


Willibald Weniger began his career at Oregon Agricultural College in 1908 as the founding head of the Physics Department. He left the College in 1914 but returned to the position in 1920. In 1933 he became Assistant Dean of the Graduate Division of physics, and later Associate Dean and Dean. The Willibald Weniger Papers include Weniger's dissertation on infrared absorption spectra, reports of a 1938 professional trip to Europe and a 1955 University of Alaska yearbook.

Scope and Content Notes

This collection consists of Weniger's dissertation on infrared absorption spectra (1908); reports of a 1938 trip to visit universities, physical laboratories, and factories in England, Holland, France, and Germany; and the 1955 University of Alaska yearbook dedicated to Weniger. The 1938 reports include Weniger's impressions of the European system of higher education, especially graduate training and faculty research.

Biographical / Historical Notes

Willibald Weniger was born on 20 June 1884 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He spoke German at home and in the Milwaukee public schools he attended. Weniger received B.A. (1905), M.S. (1906), and Ph.D. (1908) degrees from the University of Wisconsin. In 1908, he came to Oregon Agricultural College to organize and head the Physics Department. Weniger left the College in 1914 to work as a physicist in the Nela Research Laboratories of General Electric in Cleveland. During World War I he studied the relative merits of monocular and binocular field glasses for all except field artillery purposes.

Weniger returned to OAC in 1920 as Physics Department head. During a 1929/1930 sabbatical at the Smithsonian Institution, including 5 months at Table Mountain Solar Observatory, he measured energy from the sun to correlate changes in the sun's emission of energy with the earth's weather. In 1933 he became Assistant Dean of the Graduate Division and later served as Associate Dean and Dean before his return to the Physics Department in 1949. During a 1938 summer sabbatical he visited universities, physical laboratories, and factories in Europe with other American physicists. After retiring from Oregon State College, he spent 4 years (1951-1955) as head of the Physics and Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Alaska.

Weniger married Myrtle Elizabeth Knepper, a librarian, in 1918; their son, George Edward, was born in 1919. Weniger invented a transluscent blackboard and a typewriter attachment for typing Greek letters and mathematical symnbols. He died 14 March 1959 in Corvallis, Oregon. The Physics Building, completed that same year was named Weniger Hall in his honor.

Administrative Information

Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.

Related Materials: Related materials can be found in the Willibald Weniger Photographic Collection (P 081), Department of Physics Records (RG 037), and the OSU Memorabilia Collection (MSS MC) file "MC-Weniger, Willibald."

Preferred Citation: The Willibald Weniger Papers, Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Processing Information: This collection is not fully processed and a complete finding aid is not available at this time.


Weniger, Willibald (1884-)

People, Places, and Topics

History of Science
Local History
University History
Weniger, Willibald, 1884-

Creative Commons License
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