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Ferdinand Westdahl, hydrographic and geodetic engineer in the Coast and Geodetic Survey, died at San Francisco, California on the morning of October 25, 1919, in the 77th year of his age.

He was born in Wisby, Sweden, January 20, 1843; was educated at the Wisby Elementary Larsouk, 1850-1859, and at the Wisby Navigation School, 1862-1864; and afterward became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

He was twice married, and leaves a widow and several children.

He entered the Survey as an aid November 1, 1867, having been employed previously by the Western Union Telegraph Company, Russian extension, as first mate of the bark Golden Gate. At that time he had served on board sailing ships in every capacity from boy to ordinary seaman, able seaman, second and first mate, and sailing master.

He was the oldest officer and next to the oldest in point of service in the Survey. He was employed principally on the Pacific Coast, Alaska, and in the Philippine Islands, where he did much valuable work, chiefly in hydrography, for which his training in the Swedish Navigation School and subsequent sea service were a splendid preparation; but he also had experience in triangulation and topography.

He assisted in preparing the Pacific Coast Pilot and made most of the views used in that volume.

From the time of his entry into the Survey and through his service as aid, draftsman, and finally assistant and hydrographic engineer, his best efforts were always put forth to advance the work and interests of the Survey.

In his death the Survey has lost a most valuable officer.

C&GS BULLETIN, 10/1919

Publication of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA Central Library.
Last Updated: June 8, 2006 9:27 AM

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