Felix Riesenberg (9 April 1879 – 19 November 1939) was an American maritime officer and writer of maritime professional, historical, and fictional literature in the early 20th century.

Felix Riesenberg
BornApril 9, 1879
DiedNovember 19, 1939 (aged 60)
Known forwriting

Biography Edit

External image
  Felix Riesenberg (1947). Portrait painting by his brother Sidney Riesenberg.

Riesenberg was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He later attended the New York Nautical School graduating in the class of 1897. Afterward, he secured a position as a deck officer in the merchant marine, being part of the Coast and Geodetic Survey and also serving in the Naval Reserve until 1909. Riesenberg was hired by Walter Wellman to be a part of the support crew in an unsuccessful attempt to reach the North Pole by airship in the summer of 1906.[1] He was rehired by Wellman the following year to be the navigator aboard the three man airship America in a second failed attempt to reach the North Pole in 1907.[1]

After this, Riesenberg enrolled and graduated from the Columbia School of Engineering and Applied Science in 1913.

Riesenberg worked as a civil Engineer for New York State from 1913 to 1915 and then again from 1920 to 1922. In the interim, he was the Chief Officer of the United States Shipping Board.

Riesenberg was the superintendent of the New York Nautical School on two occasions, from 1917 to 1919 as Commander of the barkentine "Newport" and again from 1923 to 1924.

Riesenberg was also a prolific author, publishing a textbook, Standard Seamanship for the Merchant Service that became commonly used,[2] as well as several maritime historical works and novels. He wrote several articles that appeared in the magazine The Nation.[3] Riesenberg published his memoir Living Again in 1937.[4]

Riesenberg died 19 November 1939 in Scarsdale, New York.[1][5] After a funeral service held in Bronxville his ashes were scattered at sea.[6]

He had four children, Felix Jr., William, Margaret (Peggy), and John (Jack). Priscilla was Felix Jr's wife. His son Felix Jr. (1913–1962) was also an author of numerous maritime books.[7]

The New York Nautical School is today called "Maritime College" and is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Present day cadets are still taught the 'Riesenberg Saying': "The sea is selective; slow at recognition of effort and aptitude, but fast in sinking the unfit."

Selected bibliography Edit

  • Under Sail: A Boy's Voyage Around Cape Horn - 1918[8]
  • Standard Seamanship for the Merchant Service - 1922
  • Bob Graham at Sea - 1925
  • Vignettes of the Sea - 1926
  • East Side, West Side - 1927, turned into a film of the same name also released in 1927[9]
  • Red Horses - 1928
  • Shipmates: Sketches of the Sea - 1928
  • Endless River - 1931
  • The Maiden Voyage - 1931
  • Passing Strangers - 1931
  • Skyline - 1931, a film screenplay also based upon the 1927 novel East Side, West Side[10]
  • Mother Sea - 1933
  • Log of the Sea - 1933
  • The Left-Handed Passenger - 1935
  • Living Again : an Autobiography - 1937
  • Cape Horn : the story of the Cape Horn region, including the straits of Magellan, from the days - 1939[11]
  • The Pacific Ocean - 1940 (published posthumously)

Honors Edit

The SS Felix Riesenberg was a type EC2-S-C1 Liberty ship built at Brunswick, Georgia and delivered to the United States Merchant Marine 26 December 1944 that was named in Riesenberg's honor.[12][13] Following World War II she was sold to a private company in 1947 and finally scrapped in 1972.[12]

In the 1940s, a sail training schooner at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in King's Point, New York was renamed the Felix Riesenberg, having previously been named the Rhine.[14]

On the campus of State University of New York Maritime College Riesenberg Hall, which houses the athletic department, was dedicated 6 May 1965 to honor Riesenberg.[15] Riesenberg Hall contains a gymnasium and a natatorium, it hosts the college's basketball, volleyball, and swimming & diving events.[15]

In 2001, Felix Riesenberg was inducted into the National Maritime Hall of Fame at Kings Point.[16]

References Edit

  1. ^ a b c "FELIX RIESENBERG, SEA AUTHOR, DIES; Master Mariner and Engineer Succumbs Suddenly at His Home in Scarsdale at 60 MADE POLAR EXPEDITION Member of the Wellman Party in 1906--Was Navigator of Airship America in 1907". The New York Times. 19 November 1939. p. 38. Retrieved 2010-12-04.
  2. ^ Riesenberg, Felix (1936), Standard Seamanship for the Merchant Service, New York: D. Van Nostrand company, inc., OCLC 1712478, OL 6361757M
  3. ^ "Felix Riesenberg - The Nation". Retrieved 2010-11-26.
  4. ^ "Living Again: An Autobiography, by Felix Riesenberg". Neglected Books Page. November 4, 2012. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  5. ^ Felix Riesenberg at IMDb
  6. ^ "PLAN RIESENBERG RITES; Bronxville Services Tomorrow --To Scatter Ashes at Sea". The New York Times. 1939-11-20. Retrieved 2010-12-04.
  7. ^ "Felix Riesenberg Jr". LibraryThing. Retrieved 2010-12-04.
  8. ^ Under Sail was published by The Macmillan company in 1918. See also: Spilman, Richard (8 March 2010). "Under Sail : A Boy's Voyage Around Cape Horn by Felix Reisenberg – A Review". Retrieved 2010-12-04.
  9. ^ East Side, West Side (1927) at IMDb
  10. ^ Skyline (1931) at IMDb
  11. ^ Hutchison, Percy (24 September 1939). "The Stirring History of Grim Cape Horn; Felix Riesenberg's Account of the Region Is a Notable Addition to Literature of the Sea". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-12-04.
  12. ^ a b Colton, Tim (April 8, 2008). "Liberty Ships - Part 4: EMC #s 2293 thru 3148". Archived from the original on August 10, 2011. Retrieved 2010-11-26.
  13. ^ Horodysky, T. (4 May 2002). "Liberty Ships built by the United States Maritime Commission in World War II". American Merchant Marine at War. Retrieved 2010-12-04.
  14. ^ "History and Photos of Merchant Marine Cadet Corps Life in the 1940s". American Merchant Marine at War. Retrieved 2010-12-04.
  15. ^ a b "Maritime Athletics - Riesenberg Hall". Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  16. ^ "National Maritime Hall of Fame". United States Merchant Marine Academy. Archived from the original on 2010-09-15. Retrieved 2010-12-04.

External links Edit