LANGLEY, JOHN W. (21 Oct. 1841-10 May 1918), chemist, electrical engineer, and teacher, was born in Boston, the son of Samuel and Mary Summer Langley. He received a B.S. degree from Harvard University in 1861, and joined the University of Michigan as a medical student and assistant instructor in chemistry. His brief medical training qualified him as an assistant surgeon in the U.S. Navy during the CIVIL WAR. He resigned in 1864 and spent the several years studying in Europe. Langley taught in 1866-67 as assistant professor of chemistry and natural science at Antioch College; resigning for further travel and study. He became assistant professor of physics and mathematics at the U.S. Naval Academy from 1868-70, resigning to begin a career as a consulting chemist and metallurgist for steel manufacturers. Langley's knowledge of steel was greatly enhanced between 1871-75 while he was professor of chemistry and metallurgy at Western University of Pennsylvania at Pittsburgh. He was professor of chemistry at the University of Michigan from 1875-1890, when he returned to Pittsburgh as a steel-industry consultant. In 1888-89 he organized the Internatl. Committee for Standards of Analysis of Iron & Steel. Langley moved to Cleveland in 1892 to accept the chairmanship of the new electrical engineering department of CASE SCHOOL OF APPLIED SCIENCE, serving as department head until 1905 and as a professor until his retirement in 1907. He directed the planning and equipping of the new department building and developed the curriculum. In 1871, Langley married Martica Irene Carret (d. 1955). Langley died in Ann Arbor, MI and was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.

Article Categories