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Herman J. Schultheis
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Birth: Feb. 11, 1900
Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Death: May 21, 1955
PetÚn, Guatemala

Herman Schultheis emigrated to the United States after obtaining a Ph.D. in mechanical and electrical engineering in his native Germany in 1926. He married Ethel Wisloh in 1936 and the couple moved to Los Angeles in 1937. He began working in the film industry shortly thereafter and continued to work in the industry until at least the mid-1940s, in particular on the Disney animated features Fantasia and Pinocchio. His detailed notebook, documenting the effects for Fantasia, became the inspiration for a 14 minute short film that is included on the DVD of Fantasia. Schultheis was an obsessive photographer who took pictures everywhere he went. He disappeared on 21 May 1955 on a trip to visit the Mayan temples at Tikal in Guatemala. Although a search was launched for him, his body was not located until November 1956 (I have not been able to locate what became of his remains, whether he was buried in Guatemala or returned to the United States)

After his wife Ethel's death in 1990 the couple's home and its contents were bequeathed to a local nursing order affiliated with the Catholic Church. Photographs of Los Angeles that came to light are now part of a collection at the Los Angeles Public Library and are in the process of being digitized. As of May 2012 approximately 1500 of the more than 4000 photographs had been digitized, with the remainder planned to be finished by early-mid 2013.

The notebook mentioned above (which was also part of the couple's collection) is on display at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco.

(Note: As of 21 Jan 2013 the LAPL website shows 5479 photographs available when Schultheis is searched on as the photographer)

Schultheis photographs on Los Angeles Public Library website
Family links: 
  Ethel Wisloh Schultheis (1905 - 1990)
Created by: Chris Mills
Record added: Jan 21, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 103942666
Herman J. Schultheis
Added by: Chris Mills
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In Admiration~~
- Always~Melissa
 Added: Oct. 29, 2015
not forgotten
 Added: Apr. 14, 2015

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