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Adolph Friedrich Lindemann

Adolph Friedrich Lindemann (13 May 1846 – 25 August 1931) was a British engineer, businessman, and amateur astronomer of German origin.


Lindemann was born in the Palatinate to a Roman Catholic family established in Alsace-Lorraine under the Comte de Lindemann, who had married into the Cyprien-Fabre shipping family. Lindemann married Olga Noble (1851 – c. 1927), herself heiress to a wealthy New London, Connecticut, engineering family of British origin, and the widow of a banker named Davidson by whom she had produced three children.[1][2] Olga was reputedly "vivacious and beautiful".[1]

Lindemann had raised capital in the City of London to construct the waterworks in Speyer and Pirmasens; he was also involved in the Transatlantic telegraph cable project. He moved to England in the 1860s and became naturalised a British subject.[1] The couple were wealthy, having an annual income of around £20,000 by 1914 (£1.5 million at 2003 prices[3]). Olga inherited a mansion near Sidmouth,[2] Devon, so her husband took the opportunity to establish a laboratory and astronomical observatory there. On Olga's death, Lindemann donated the observatory to the University of Exeter.[1]


The couple had a daughter and three sons, the second of whom, Frederick, was to become a famed physicist, and World War II adviser to Sir Winston Churchill. The youngest brother, Septimus, became something of a playboy on the French Riviera but became a notable agent for the intelligence services in World War II.[1] Adolph's only daughter (he had two stepdaughters by his wife's previous marriage), Linda, became a short story writer and playwright, writing under a pseudonym to avoid family disapproval. One of her plays, 'The Man in the Case' was censored. Her granddaughter is novelist Salley Vickers, and her great-grandson Rupert Kingfisher, the children's writer of Madame Pamplemousse.[citation needed] Olga was a Protestant and insisted on the children being raised in the Anglican Church.[1]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Crowther (1965), pp. 343–344.
  2. ^ a b Blake (2004)
  3. ^ O‘Donoghue, J.; et al. (2004). "Consumer Price Inflation since 1750". Economic Trends. 604: 38–46, March.

Further readingEdit