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Showing posts with the label Hans Ernst Prize

Hans Ernst : The 'Kangaroo' plumber

This post is not about fairy tales but about one of the 'off ramps' of research that make it such a fabulous journey. I was fascinated by the achievements of Olga Ernst's younger brother and discovering a University prize in Melbourne named in his honour. This blog post thanks his grandchildren Gail, Belinda, Jon and Alice and his niece Helen Dixon for assisting my research.

Who was Hans Ernst?
There were no babysitters in the small mountain town of Wandiligong where his mother Olga Ernst (nee Johanna Olga Straubel), a young widow of 34, was given a position as an Assistant Teacher in 1897. Consequently Hans began school earlier than most children grasping the opportunity to learn in his mother's schools.

Keen to fly planes, Hans Ernst left in his 20s Australia working his passage over to the US on board a ship. Though his career in California began as a bicycle repairman his ability to see what needed to be improved was soon obvious. H…