William Würdemann(1811–1900)—known for having had "a decided
influence on observers and instrument makers throughout the United States, as he introduced among us extreme German methods where extreme English methods had formerly prevailed"—was born in Bremen, studied in Heidelberg, and moved to Washington, D.C., to work for the United States Coast Survey. In 1836, having proved his worth, Würdemann became the Survey’s Chief Mechanician. He went into business on his own in 1849, advertising as a Mathematical and Optical Instrument Manufacturer, but maintaining a cosy relationship with the Coast Survey. He supervised the Survey’s instrument shop in 1867–1869; his son Charles worked in that shop in the early 1870s; and he always had easy access to their dividing engine and other machine tools. While the Coast Survey was Würdemann’s most important customer, he made instruments for other federal agencies as well. Würdemann also helped Camill Fauth, Edward Kubel, George N. Saegmuller, and other German instruments makers get their start in the United States. Würdemann’s shop closed in 1881.
Ref: Steven Turner, "William Würdemann: First Mechanician of the U.S.
Coast Survey," Rittenhouse 5 (1991): 97–110.