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LOEBELL, ERNST

LOEBELL, ERNST (23 Oct. 1902-19 Sept. 1979) was an engineer whose extracurricular interest in rocketry made Cleveland an early center for research in that field. A native of Germany, he received degrees from Breslau and Oldenburg Universities and became a member of the pioneering German Interplanetary Society of Berlin. Brought to New York by the Otis Elevator Co., he moved on to Cleveland in 1929 to work for the WHITE MOTOR CORP. In 1933 Loebell and Charles W. St. Clair organized the CLEVELAND ROCKET SOCIETY, the only group of its type in America outside of the American Rocket Society of New York. Using the Waite Hill estate of Carl H. Hanna as a proving ground, the society designed a liquid oxygen-cooled engine which attracted favorable attention when displayed in model at the 1937 Paris Exposition. Having lost his job in the meantime, Loebell worked for a time in Grand Rapids, Mich. When he returned to Cleveland he worked for LEAR SIEGLER, INC., until his retirement in 1968. Though he maintained an interest in postwar aerospace developments, he apparently made no effort to resume active involvement in the field. As late as 1966, he hadn't even visited the NASA LEWIS RESEARCH CTR. in Cleveland. A member of the CLEVELAND ENGINEERING SOCIETY, he last lived in Bainbridge Twp. in Geauga County. He died in WARRENSVILLE HTS., survived by his wife, the former Lucile Markel, and a daughter, Hildegarde.