In 1885, Munich’s Oktoberfest was celebrated under the glow of the electric light for the first time. Who was responsible for that feat? None other than Albert Einstein himself.
Granted, it may have been his father and uncle who are truly due the credit (Albert was a teetotaling six-year-old at the time), but the math whiz extraordinaire was there checking wiring and ensuring that the Einstein Brothers lights stayed on at the world’s largest fair.
Despite this illuminating achievement, the future was not so bright for the young Einstein or his folks. By 1894, Albert’s uncle and father had mortgaged their home in a bid to grow their flourishing electric company. But the Oktoberfest contract was lost to Siemens, and the Einstein Brothers enterprise fell flat. The family moved to northern Italy to try their luck there, and instructed the 15-year-old Albert to remain in Munich to finish his schooling.
Albert had other ideas. By the next year, Albert had coaxed a doctor to diagnose him with nervous exhaustion which excused him from school (his teacher thought he was a nuisance anyway) and shortly thereafter he arrived on his parent’s doorstep in Italy. By his sixteenth birthday he had written his first essay on theoretical physics, “On the Investigation of the State of the Ether in a Magnetic Field.”
Still, school evaded him, and soon … [ Read all ]
Posted by Rob Crotty on October 5, 2010, under Myth or History.
Tags: albert einstein, american history, childhood, documerica, einstein and beer, einstein immigration, electricity, light, munich, NARA, national archives, National archives and records administration, new ulm, odd history, oktoberfest, Pieces of History, prologue blog, Prologue magazine, random history, ulm, weird US history