"The Ulm Tailor attempted
to fly on a whim,
but the devil lead him
into the Danube to swim"
This is the most popular rhyme mocking the man whose name was Albrecht Ludwig Berblinger. When examining his history we encounter a schizophrenic attitude unique to Ulm:
As the “Tailor of Ulm” he is a figure of local folklore. As such he was never treated as a hero of aviation but rather considered to be a crackpot and comic figure. Today however, the inventor and design engineer Albrecht Ludwig Berblinger has been rehabilitated. The town of Ulm has offered an award every two years since 1988 to commemorate the man who made aviation history with the first gliding flight. The ”Berblinger Prize” is designed to motivate the world's aircraft constructors to channel their creativity toward the improvement of safety, ecological compatibility, aerodynamics, design and economics.
Who was this man, Albrecht Ludwig Berblinger? He was a tailor by trade but not by calling. He was the seventh child, born to his parents on June 24, 1770. His father died when Albrecht Ludwig was 13 years old. The boy was sent to an orphanage. It was his foster father who had the idea of apprenticing him to a tailor. Berblinger himself felt no such desire. He was much more interested in mechanics.