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Next: Ludwig Prandtl Up: Biographies of Major Figures Previous: William John Macquorn Rankine   Index

Gino Girolamo Fanno

Fanno a Jewish Engineer was born on November 18, 1888. He studied in a technical institute in Venice and graduated with very high grades as a mechanical engineer. Fanno was not as lucky as his brother, who was able to get into academia. Faced with anti-semitism, Fanno left Italy for Zurich, Switzerland in 1900 to attend graduate school for his master's degree. In this new place he was able to pose as a Roman Catholic, even though for short time he went to live in a Jewish home, Isaak Baruch Weil's family. As were many Jews at that time, Fanno was fluent in several languages including Italian, English, German, and French. He likely had a good knowledge of Yiddish and possibly some Hebrew. Consequently, he did not have a problem studying in a different language. In July 1904 he received his diploma (master). When one of Professor Stodola's assistants attended military service this temporary position was offered to Fanno. ``Why didn't a talented guy like Fanno keep or obtain a position in academia after he published his model?'' The answer is tied to the fact that somehow rumors about his roots began to surface. Additionally, the fact that his model was not a ``smashing1.50 success'' did not help.

Figure 1.10: The photo of Gino Fanno approximately in 1950
Later Fanno had to go back to Italy to find a job in industry. Fanno turned out to be a good engineer and he later obtained a management position. He married, and like his brother, Marco, was childless. He obtained a Ph.D. from Regian Istituto Superiore d'Ingegneria di Genova. However, on February 1939 Fanno was degraded (denounced) and he lost his Ph.D. (is this the first case in history) because his of his Jewish nationality1.51. During the War (WWII), he had to be under house arrest to avoid being sent to the ``vacation camps.'' To further camouflage himself, Fanno converted to Catholicism. Apparently, Fanno had a cache of old Italian currency (which was apparently still highly acceptable) which helped him and his wife survive the war. After the war, Fanno was only able to work in agriculture and agricultural engineering. Fanno passed way in 1960 without world recognition for his model.

Fanno's older brother, mentioned earlier Marco Fanno is a famous economist who later developed fundamentals of the supply and demand theory.

next up previous index
Next: Ludwig Prandtl Up: Biographies of Major Figures Previous: William John Macquorn Rankine   Index
Created by:Genick Bar-Meir, Ph.D.
On: 2007-11-21