Einstein assists a fellow émigré and engineer

Einstein, Albert, German-born physicist and Nobel laureate (1879-1955). A large archive of material featuring ten (1 autogr. and 9 typed) letters to Wsevolode Grünberg and a short autograph note by Einstein, an ALS by Elsa Einstein and 2 TLS by Helene Dukas. Accompanied by a large archive of Grünberg's papers, consisting of well over 1,000 pages of material including some of his original drawings for his hydrofoil improvements, copies of his patents, etc.

Princeton (NJ), Peconic, New York and Saranac Lake (NY), 1939 to 1948.

I: Albert Einstein. Mostly 4to. Altogether 11 pp.

II: Elsa Einstein: 8vo. 2 pp.

III: Helene Dukas. 4to. 2 pp.


Grünberg, who later in life changed his name to Waldemar A. Craig, was an aeronautical engineer who developed an important design for the hydrofoil. The letters accompany a large archive of Grünberg's papers, consisting of well over 1,000 pages of material including some of his original drawings for his hydrofoil improvements, copies of his patents, (including a large dossier of declassified tests performed in the years immediately following WWI), photographs, correspondence, and other related documents and ephemera.

Grünberg, the nephew of a close friend of Einstein, appears to have become acquainted with Albert and his second wife Elsa sometime in the late 1920s or early 1930s, if not personally, by correspondence. In an undated letter from Berlin, written sometime before 1932, Elsa Einstein commented to Grünberg: "I am assuming you are just as kind and clever as your uncle, our dear friend. My husband and I were so glad having been able doing this small favor for you. Mr. Dunne wrote a most gracious note to us from Florida. In particular I want to thank you for the delicious grapefruits [...]" and adding "Feel free to call on me anytime, if you think I could be of help. Please be sure and do".

Apparently Grünberg took her advice, and travelling to the United States in 1939 approached Einstein for an introduction to fellow engineers in the U. S. in order to demonstrate his hydrofoil designs. The two met in June 1939 at the home of Irving Lehman in Port Chester, New York.

In addition to the introduction to the American engineering community, Einstein also agreed to handle a complex inheritance matter for Grünberg. On 1 July 1939, the same day he recommended Grünberg to his American associates, he wrote to him that he had written "a most insistent letter to Mr. Plesch in which I suggested to name an arbitrator in the inheritance matter who would be agreeable to you as well as to me and who could personally communicate with Mr. Plesch and yourself". Enclosing the letter to Dr. Lewis, Einstein advised, "I cannot understand though, how you could succeed to find a position here without a valid residence permit. I urge you to carefully investigate this subject prior to making use of the enclosed letter". Einstein continued to assist Grünberg with the inheritance issue, acting as a go-between Grünberg in the U. S. and Mr. Plesch in France.

Despite some annoyances, Einstein did what he could for Grünberg both for his inheritance and his scientific pursuits - Grünberg's personal papers concern his research on his hydrofoil designs which he first developed in France. The archive includes some of Grünberg's original drawings demonstrating applications for his design as well as some manuscript calculations in his hand, some original U. S. patent certificates for several inventions, one German patent awarded to him in 1930, original photographs, likely from the early 1930s, and several magazines including Popular Science and others discussing Grünberg's work and designs.

Detailed description available upon request.

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