Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 150,676 pages of information and 235,204 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Ferdinand Wilhelm Weghorst Luders

From Graces Guide

Ferdinand Wilhelm Weghorst Luders (1827-1895)

1896 Obituary [1]

CONMODORE FERDINAND WILHELM WEGHORST LUDERS, of the Royal Danish Navy, Superintendent of the Port of Copenhagen, died on the 29th of November, 1895, after a few weeks’ illness, the cause of death being inflammation of the lungs, following an operation for cancer in the throat.

Born in the island of Funen, on the 22nd of May, 1827, Ferdinand Luders was appointed in 1846 sub-lieutenant, in the Royal Danish Navy, in which capacity he took part in 1848-50 in the first war between that country and Germany. He then attached himself to the Polytechnic School of Copenhagen, where, after three years’ study, he passed in 1855 the final examination in applied mechanics. He was promoted lieutenant in that year, and acted as inspecting officer, under Commodore Tuxen, on the construction of the new graving dock at the naval dockyard in Copenhagen which was carried out by the late Mr. Alfred Giles.

In 1856 Mr. Luders came to England and entered the office of Messrs. Walker, Burges and Cooper, in Westminster, where he remained two years. During that time he was engaged on the Netherton Tunnel works, and availed himself of opportunities of inspecting and studying the harbour at Dover, the docks on the Tyne and at Hull, and the construction of several of the most important lighthouses. The experience and information thus gained were of much value to him in later years, when he was frequently called upon to give evidence on marine works before parliamentary committees.

In 1858 he returned to Denmark and resumed active service in the navy. Among the various duties entrusted to him was that of inspecting and purchasing timber in Germany from time to time on behalf of the Danish Navy.

It was not until 1867 that he retired from the service with the honorary rank of Commander, which in 1891 was raised to that of Commodore.

On the 1st of November, 1860, Mr. Luders was appointed Chief Engineer of the harbour of Copenhagen. He held that post until the 1st of July, 1872, when he became Superintendent of the Port (Port-Captain). For thirty-fire years, therefore, he filled these important offices under the Danish Government, a sufficient testimony alike to his administrative ability and to his technical skill. His principal work was the enlargement of the harbour, which involved also several improvements rendered necessary by the development of Copenhagen and by the great increase of the commerce of Denmark.

In the years immediately following 1860, when Mr. Luders became Chief Engineer of the harbour, the sailing vessels which had hitherto carried the home trade of the country were replaced by steamers; and, subsequently, these: steamers, both coasting and ocean-bound, increased rapidly in number and in tonnage. These changes had to be provided for, and, without entering into details, it may be said that there is hardly a single spot in the harbour and roadstead which, during the period in question, has not been subject to alteration and improvement, such as the extension and construction of quays, bridges and new basins, and the increase of the depth of various channels.

Meanwhile the idea of the establishment of a free port at Copenhagen was carried so far that in April 1891, the preliminary works for that purpose were commenced, and the completion of the free port on the western shore of the inner roads was the last work upon which Commodore Luders was engaged, a fitting termination of his long service. His connection with the harbour and port, occurring as it did at e period when great and important improvements were rendered absolutely necessary, may be regarded as most fortunate, not only for himself but for the country he served. Upon everything he undertook he brought to bear technical knowledge of a high order, the utmost energy and zeal, and great powers of administration.

Commodore Luders was a Commander of the Order of the Dannebrog and had also received several foreign decorations. In 1877 he became a member of the Technical Society of Denmark and in 1892 of the Society of Danish Engineers.

He was elected a Member of this Institution on the 4th of May, 1869, and was from time to time in correspondence with the office on matters of engineering interest in Denmark, as to which he was always ready to contribute valuable information.

See Also


Sources of Information