1907-1928: Childhood and Youth
Manfred von Ardenne was a practical, technically gifted child. Instead of following school, he conducted his own experiments, built models and circuits, tinkered and took measurements. His lack of interest in class had an effect on his achievements and he left Berlin Tempelhof secondary school after failing an exam. In his final report, his teacher wrote, “His knowledge and skill in a few areas of physics and chemistry are beyond the expectations of his class or of the school.” Von Ardenne subsequently changed to the Friedrich-Realgymnasium, which he left in 1923 with "Primareife". His parents recognized and supported their son’s potential and gave him the best room in the apartment in Hasenheide. This became Ardenne’s first private laboratory for radio technology.
In 1923, at only 16, the young researcher registered his first patent for a “method for sound selection, especially for the use of wireless telegraphy”. From 1924, Manfred von Ardenne earned his living by selling his first books and technological developments and discoveries, and voluntarily paid the rent for his thirty square meter laboratory to his parents.