Historical highlight

11 October 2004

All lit up: Table Mountain illuminated in 1952 thanks to UCT engineer Dr Heinz Einhorn.

Dr Heinz Einhorn is an example of a history maker and mind-changer at UCT. He was first employed in the engineering department in 1938 after leaving Germany in the early 1930s. He spent 62 years lecturing "lighting" at UCT, publishing around 80 research papers and obtaining two doctorates.

The highlight of his career came in 1952 when, for the South African tercentenary celebrations Table Mountain was lit for the first time. Einhorn used 51 military searchlights to illuminate the mountain face, covering an area of around two million square metres. He passed away in May 2000 at the age of 93, despite plans to continue his lectures later in the year.

His wife, Elsabe Einhorn, was a lecturer in the French department for 34 years. At the age of 83, she has just published an edited a translation of 17 Old French epics. Certain of these 12th century works have been translated into modern English for the first time, taking her 30 years to complete. During the 175 years of the university's existence, there have been 110 years of study by Einhorns at UCT.

It is thanks to individuals such as Heinz and Elsabe Einhorn that UCT has influenced both academic circles as well as the greater Cape Town community. - Gill Einhorn

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Please view the republishing articles page for more information.