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Willibald Weniger Photographic Collection, 1870-1940

By Lawrence A. Landis

Collection Overview

Title: Willibald Weniger Photographic Collection, 1870-1940

Predominant Dates: 1901-1914

ID: P 081

Primary Creator: Weniger, Willibald (1884-)

Extent: 0.6 cubic feet. More info below.

Arrangement: The collection is arranged in three series. Series one consists of portraits of Weniger, the family photograph album, and other unidentified photographs. Series two consists of photos of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and vicinity. These images are in an album and are numbered 1 through 134. Series three consists of images of Oregon Agricultural College, Corvallis and vicinity and unidentified locations in the northwestern U.S. These images are in an album and are numbered 135-556.

Languages of Materials: English [eng]

Abstract

The Willibald Weniger Photographic Collection consists of a photograph album of images taken and/or collected by Willibald Weniger pertaining to the University of Wisconsin and Oregon Agricultural College and their vicinities between about 1904 and 1914. Also included are portraits of Weniger and a 19th century photograph album with images most likely of Weniger, his family and friends. Weniger was a professor of physics at Oregon Agricultural College from 1908 to 1914 and again from 1920 until his retirement in 1951.

Images from this collection have been digitized and are available in Oregon Digital.

Scope and Content Notes

This collection consists of photographs taken and/or collected by Willibald Weniger. The bulk of the collection is a photograph album documenting scenes, buildings and people at the University of Wisconsin and Oregon Agricultural College. The Oregon Agricultural College images are of campus and the vicinity around Corvallis, Oregon; physics laboratories and research; and Weniger and his family and friends. Of special note are photographs of the construction of Strand Agricultural Hall (1913) and McAlexander Fieldhouse (1911); the Willamette and Marys Rivers and forests on Marys Peak; floods; and railroads, including the Corvallis and Alsea River Railroad. The photographs of the University of Wisconsin campus and Madison as well as other locations, such as the Wisconsin Dells, document where Weniger took classes, worked and visited. Many of the images are not identified.

The collection also includes a late 19th century photograph album that likely includes photos of Weniger as a child, other Weniger family members, and family friends.There are also non-album portraits of Weniger and several unidentified people and places.

The bulk of the collection is the photograph album of black and white prints; most of the prints are 4x5 in. or smaller. The collection also includes some loose prints, including one mounted cyanotype; about 40 4x5 glass negatives; 1 color transparency in a lantern slide mount; and 41 nitrate negatives.

Images from this collection have been digitized and are available in Oregon Digital.

Biographical / Historical Notes

Willibald Weniger was a professor of physics at Oregon Agricultural College from 1908 to 1914 and 1920 to 1951.

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 five 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 four 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 translucent blackboard and a typewriter attachment for typing Greek letters and mathematical symbols. He died on March 14, 1959 in Corvallis, Oregon. The Physics Building, completed that same year was named Weniger Hall in his honor.

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 689 photographs; 7 boxes, including 1 oversize box

Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.

Related Materials:

The Willibald Weniger Papers (MSS Weniger) include Weniger's dissertation and reports of a 1938 trip to visit university, physical laboratories, and factories in Europe. Additional photographs of Weniger are located in Harriet's Photograph Collection (P HC) HC1727.

Three individual images and one album page from the Willibald Weniger Photographic Collection can be found online in Oregon Digital's Historical Images of Oregon State University.

Preferred Citation: Willibald Weniger Photographic Collection (P 081), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Finding Aid Revision History: The finding aid was updated in 2016 to reflect additional materials and bring the guide into compliance with current descriptive best practices.

Creators

Weniger, Willibald (1884-)

People, Places, and Topics

Boats and boating--Oregon.
Boats and boating--Wisconsin
Coasts--Oregon.
Corvallis & Alsea River Railway Company
Corvallis (Or.)
Floods--Oregon--Willamette River.
Horner, John B., 1856-1933
Madison (Wis.)
Marys Peak (Or.)
Marys River (Or.)
Mendota, Lake (Wis.)
Monona, Lake (Wis.)
Oregon Agricultural College--Buildings.
Oregon Agricultural College--Faculty.
Oregon Agricultural College--Students.
Peavy, George Wilcox, 1869-1951
University History
University of Wisconsin--Madison.
Weniger, Willibald, 1884-
Willamette River (Or.)
Wisconsin Dells (Wis.)

Forms of Material

Albumen prints.
Cyanotypes (photographic prints).
Glass plate negatives.
Lantern slides.
Nitrate negatives.
Photograph albums.
Photographic prints.


Box and Folder Listing

Series 1: Portraits of Weniger, family photograph album and unidentified photographs, circa 1870-1920
This series consists of portrait photographs of Weniger from about 1901 to 1914; a photograph album from the late 19th century containing childhood photos of Weniger, his family and friends; unidentified portraits, group shots of people, and homes; and St. Luke’s hospital. Unidentified images that are glass negatives are numbered P081:562-563, 566 and 570.
Box-Folder 2.1: Portrait photographs of Willibald Weniger, circa 1901-1914
Extent: 7 images, including 2 duplicates

Box-Folder 2.2: Photograph album containing photos of Weniger as a child and likely of his family and friends of his family, circa 1870-1900
Extent: 36 images, many of which are albumen prints

Box-Folder 2.3: Unidentified portraits and group shots, circa 1890-1920
Extent: 14 images

Box-Folder 2.4
Item P081:562: Unidentified homes

Two images may be of St. Luke's hospital.

See Box 4 for two additional images.

Modern prints made from nitrate negatives.

Alternate Format: Original nitrate negatives available in box-folder 6,1.

Extent: 4 images (6 prints)

Item P081:570: Unidentified people

See Box 4 for one additional image.

Modern prints from nitrate negatives.

Alternate Format: Original nitrate negatives in box-folder 6.1.

Extent: 10 images

Box 4
Item P081:562: Unidentified houses
Extent: 2 images

Item P081:563: Bridge and town; hill in background says Charles N. Hancher diamonds in large letters
This could be jeweler and watch maker Charles N. Hancher in Wheeling, West Virginia.
Item P081:566: Woman dressed in a kilt
Extent: 3 images

Item P081:570: Boy or young man standing in an orchard
Box-Folder 6.1
Item P081:562: Unidentified homes
4 nitrate negatives
Item P081:570: Unidentified people
10 nitrate negatives
Item 3: Children playing
2 nitrate negatives
Item 4: Campsite
2 nitrate negatives
Item 5: Group having picnic
1 nitrate negative
Series 2: University of Wisconsin, Madison and vicinity, circa 1901-1908
This series includes images taken or collected by Weniger while a student at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Included are images of University of Wisconsin buildings, the city of Madison, landscape views from around campus and Madison, and views of lakes Mendota and Monona. Many of the images are unidentified; only selected images are described below. The images are prints mounted in an album and  individually numbered 1-134. Images 129 through 134 may document Weniger’s trip from Wisconsin to Corvallis. Two of the images in this series have corresponding glass negatives.
Box 1
Item P081:001: Bascom Hall, circa 1905
The dome of this building was destroyed by fire in 1916.
Item P081:002: Willow Creek and bridge, circa 1905
Item P081:005: Wisconsin Historical Society building
Item P081:006: Wisconsin Historical Society library reading room, circa 1905
Item P081:007: Museum display cases, circa 1905
The cases may be at the Wisconsin Historical Society.
Item P081:012: Horticulture, Dairy and Agriculture Buildings
Item P081:013: Agriculture Hall
Item P081:014: Dairy Barn
Item P081:017-P081:019: Lakes
P081:019 is Lake Mendota.
Item P081:020: University Drive in the snow
Item P081:026-P081:029: Lakes
Item P081:033: Canoes on a rocky beach
Item P081:035-P081:038: Lakes
Item P081:045: Sailboat on a lake
Item P081:061-P081:066: Laboratories
Item P081:070: Dairy Building (Hiram Smith Hall) and the central heating plant
Item P081:072: Dane County Courthouse in Madison, Wisconsin
Item P081:073: Sailboat on a lake
Item P081:076-P081:080: Ice sailing on Lake Mendota, adjacent to the University of Wisconsin
Item P081:081-P081:086: Aerial views of the University of Wisconsin campus and Madison
Item P081:087-P081:093: Sailboating on Lake Mendota
Item P081:094: Rock formation near Camp Douglas?
This could be part of the Castle Rock formation.
Item P081:095: Wisconsin Dells, circa 1906
Witches Gulch?
Item P081:096-P081:097: Dam on a river
Item P081:098-P081:104: Wisconsin Dells
P081:101 is of the Larks Hotel and boat landing.
Item P081:107: Willibald Weniger standing on a dock
Item P081:109: Willibald Weniger standing in water next to a dock
Item P081:113: Boat on a beach
Next to the boat is a makeshift clothesline with clothes drying, and in the background is a pier.
Item P081:114: Boat in a small canal
Item P081:116: Woman and three children in the woods
Alternate Format: Nitrate negative in box-folder 6.1.

Item P081:118: Building under construction
University of Wisconsin?
Alternate Format: This photograph is also available as a 4x5 glass plate negative in Box 3.

Item P081:119: Residential street
Madison, Wisconsin?
Item P081:120: Dredging machinery on a lake or river
Item P081:121: Residential Street
Madison, Wisconsin?
Item P081:124: Girl on roller skates in front of a house
Alternate Format: This photograph is also available as a 4x5 glass plate negative in Box 3.

Item P081:125: Willibald Weniger (right) and unidentified man standing in front of a shrub
Item P081:126: Willibald Weniger (left) and unidentified man sitting
Box 3
Item P081:118: Building under construction
University of Wisconsin?
Alternate Format: A photographic print of this image is available in Box 1.

Item P081:124: Girl on roller skates
Alternate Format: A photographic print of this image is available in Box 1.

Box-Folder 6.1: P081:116. Woman and three children in the woods.
nitrate negative
Series 3: Oregon Agricultural College, Corvallis and vicinity, and the Northwest, circa 1908-1940
This series includes images of Oregon Agricultural College buildings, grounds, and faculty; Corvallis and the surrounding area including the Marys River and Marys Peak; and landscape views of unidentified locations in the northwestern U.S. Many of the images are unidentified; only selected images are described below. Some of the unidentified images may be student outings. Most of the images are prints adhered to an album and are individually numbered 135-556; a few of the album images have corresponding glass negatives. Two sets of images are numbered 282-287; they are designated “a” and “b”. This series also includes two copy prints of images from the album and a small number of non-album images, including a color transparency of Weatherford Hall mounted as a lantern slide and 10 images pertaining to Weniger’s work at General Electric during World War I on monocular and binocular field glasses (P081:567-569)
Box 1
Item P081:143: Landscape view with Marys Peak in the distance
Item P081:146: Landscape view with Marys Peak in the distance
Item P081:147: Mechanical Hall from lower campus
Item P081:148-P081:152: Snow on the OAC campus
P081:150 shows the Administration Building (Benton Hall) and nearby trees covered in snow.
Item P081:153-P081:157: Outing on the Marys River
Item P081:158-P081:171: Outing to Marys Peak
Alternate Format: Copy print of P081:158 is included in Box 2.

Item P081:172: Railroad track
Possibly line to Monroe with Marys Peak in background.
Item P081:176: Railroad tracks in the mountains
Item P081:177-P081:181: Flood, Willamette River
Images 180-181 show the Marys River bridge.
Item P081:182: Armory under construction, 1909
Now McAlexander Fieldhouse.
Item P081:183: OAC electrical engineering lab?
Item P081:184: Hydroelectric powerhouse destroyed by fire
Possibly in California.
Item P081:186: Log hut and camp
Item P081:188-P081:191: Marys Peak
Item P081:206: OAC faculty, circa 1910
Includes Weniger (standing on right), George Peavy (standing third from left), John Fulton (standing third from right) and John Horner (sitting second from left).
Item P081:207-P081:211: Oregon coast
Image 207 is probably Yaquina Head.
Item P081:217-P081:219: Camp scenes
Item P081:225;P081:227: Boat under construction
Item P081:242;P081:245: Willibald Weniger
Item P081:249-P081:250: Laboratories
Item P081:258: Willibald Weniger sitting on a wooded hillside
Item P081:262: Sign on fence, "Trespass notice, College students! & town kids keep off."
Item P081:266: Sawmill
Item P081:270-P081:272: Picnic group
Item P081:273;P081:278: Canoeing
Item P081:280: Marys River dam
Item P081:283a.: Abandoned trolley
Used for the Occidental Hotel in Corvallis.
Item P081:284a.-P081:285a.: Young woman canoeing
Item P081:282b.-P081:283b.: Ferry crossing on the Willamette River
Item P081:284b.-P081:294: Flood
Includes scenes of flooded streets, shooting ducks on flooded lower campus, First Presbyterian Church with Corvallis schools in background.
Item P081:295: Willamette River and Southern Pacific railroad line
About 7 miles south of Eugene.
Item P081:304-P081:316: Snow scenes in the mountains and forest
Item P081:317-P081:319: OAC buildings in snow
Mechanical Hall and the Administration Building (now Kearney Hall and Benton Hall).
Item P081:320: View of Corvallis from hills to the northwest
Item P081:322: Armory
Now McAlexander Fieldhouse.
Item P081:323-P081:324: Airplane next to Mechanical Hall
Item P081:333; P081:336: Canoeing
Item P081:372-P081:376: Speedboat
Item P081:378: Speedboat being hauled to the Willamette River ferry crossing near Van Buren
Item P081:382: Agriculture hall, south wing under construction, 1913
Item P081:384: Mechanical Arts Building
Item P081:385: Stock judging pavilion and the Farm Mechanics Building, circa 1913
The Farm Mechanics Building is now Gilmore Hall.
Item P081:386: Dairy Building? under construction
Item P081:408-P081:409: Lightning
Item P081:421: Science Hall, OAC, circa 1912
Now Furman Hall.
Item P081:422: Military maneuvers in front of Science Hall, OAC, circa 1912
Item P081:423: Agriculture Hall and the Bandstand, OAC, circa 1913
Item P081:424: Newly completed Armory, OAC, circa 1910
Postcard published by Paxton; taken by Lavel.
Item P081:425: Auto on the Corvallis and Alsea River Railroad
Photo by H.S.P.
Alternate Format: Copy print of this image is included in Box 2.

Item P081:426: Walkway on Lower Campus, circa 1910
Item P081:427: Willamette River at Corvallis, circa 1910
Postcard published by Paxton; taken by Lavel
Item P081:428-P081:447: May Day pageant
Alternate Format: Also includes glass plate negatives in Box 3 for images 432 and 435 and Box 4 for images 437, 440, 443, and 445-446.  Nitrate negatives for images 428-431, 434, 438, and 447 are in box-folder 6.2.

Item P081:448-P081:449: Picnic group
Item P081:477;P081:479: Observatory?
Item P081:482: Observatory?
Item P081:480: Footbridge over stream
Alternate Format: Also includes glass plate negative in Box 4.

Item P081:494: Stream
Alternate Format: Also includes glass plate negative in Box 4.

Item P081:496-P081:497: Stream
Alternate Format: Also includes glass plate negatives in Box 4.

Item P081:503: Barn
Alternate Format: Nitrate negative in box-folder 6.2.

Item P081:506-P081:513: Waterfalls
Alternate Format: Nitrate negatives for P081:506 and P081:511 in box-folder 6.2.

Item P081:514: Radio Towers?
Item P081:517: Ford auto with 1915 Delaware license plates
Item P081:520a: Radio towers?
Item P081:520b: Ford auto with 1915 Delaware license plates
Item P081:534: Train on trestle
Alternate Format: Also includes glass plate negative in Box 4.

Item P081:535: Bridge construction?
Item P081:537: Train yard (loading stone?)
Alternate Format: Also includes glass plate negative in Box 4.

Item P081:539: Train loading?
Alternate Format: Also includes glass plate negative in Box 4.

Item P081:540-P081:542: Motorcycle engine
Item P081:543-P081:545: Interior of a house
Item P081:555: Oregon Electric depot at Corvallis flooded, Feb. 8, 1916
Item P081:556: OAC Physics Department faculty
Box 2
Box-Folder 2.5
Item P081:158: Copy print
Item P081:425: Copy print
Item P081:559: Laboratory
Alternate Format: Also includes glass plate negative in Box 4.

Box 3
Item P081:432: May Day pageant
Alternate Format: A photographic print of this image is included in Box 1.

Item P081:435: May Day pageant
Alternate Format: A photographic print of this image is included in Box 1.

Box 4
Item P081:437: May Day pageant
Alternate Format: A photographic print of this image is included in Box 1.

Item P081:440: May Day pageant
Alternate Format: A photographic print of this image is included in Box 1.

Item P081:443: May Day pageant
Alternate Format: A photographic print of this image is included in Box 1.

Item P081:445-P081:446: May Day pageant
Alternate Format: Photographic prints of these images are included in Box 1.

Item P081:480: Footbridge over stream
Alternate Format: A photographic print of this image is included in Box 1.

Item P081:494: Stream
Alternate Format: A photographic print of this image is included in Box 1.

Item P081:496-P081:497: Stream
Alternate Format: Photographic prints of these images are included in Box 1.

Item P081:534: Train on trestle
Alternate Format: A photographic print of this image is included in Box 1.

Item P081:537: Train yard (loading stone?)
Alternate Format: A photographic print of this image is included in Box 1.

Item P081:539: Train loading?
Alternate Format: A photographic print of this image is included in Box 1.

Item P081:557: Unidentified dam
Item P081:558: Bridge of the Gods on the Columbia River
Item P081:559: Laboratory
Alternate Format: A photographic print of this image is included in Box 2.

Item P081:561: Automobile, circa 1912
Two similar images are included in Box 6.
Extent: 2 images

Item P081:567: Charts and graphs pertaining to Weniger's war work at General Electric
Extent: 6 images

Box 5
Item P081:567: Charts and graphs pertaining to Weniger's war work at General Electric
Extent: 2 images

Item P081:568: Man standing by marker
Item P081:569: Soldiers testing field glasses?
Box 7
Item P081:581: Southwest side of Weatherford Hall, circa 1940
Color transparency mounted as a lantern slide
Box-Folder 6.2
Item P081:428: May Day Pageant
nitrate negative
Item P081:429: May Day Pageant
nitrate negative
Item P081:430: May Day Pageant
nitrate negative
Item P081:431: May Day Pageant
nitrate negative
Item P081:434: May Day Pageant
nitrate negative
Item P081:438: May Day Pageant
nitrate negative
Item P081:447: May Day Pageant
nitrate negative
Item P081:469: Woman sitting on log
nitrate negative
Item P081:500: Stream
nitrate negative
Item P081:501: Waterfall
nitrate negative
Item P081:502: Stream
nitrate negative
Item P081:503: Barn
nitrate negative
Item P081:506: Waterfall
nitrate negative
Item P081:511: Waterfall with structure
nitrate negative
Item P081:524: Man standing on rock overlooking stream.
Nitrate negative.
Item P081:526: Man sitting on rock outcrop.
Nitrate negative.
Item P081:561: Automobile, circa 1912
Two similar images are included in Box 4.
Extent: 3 nitrate negatives

Item P081:565: May Day Pageant
2 nitrate negatives

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