American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Gustave Ernest Landt, 1894-1977

  • In Memoriam
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1978


Gustave Landt was born in Highwood, Illinois, November 29, 1894, and died suddently of a heart attack on April 5, 1977, at his home in

Norristown, Pa., survived by his wife, a daughter and three grandchildren.

Gus recived a B.S. degree in chemistry with honors from the University of Chicago in 1918, and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Columbia University in 1923. In World War I he served in the Chemical Warfare division, assigned to Washington University, where he researched on the development of warfare material.

On leaving Columbia, he became chief chemist of the Diamond State Fibre Co. in Bridgeport, Pa., this company merging with the Continental Fibre Co. of Newark, Del., Gus becoming Technical Director of the merged companies which thereafter was a pioneer in the development of products classified as Plastic in the field of cellulose chemistry and also of specialized paper products.

There were many patents issued in Landt’s name and he published a number of papers in technical journals. In 1935 he organized and was president of the Philadelphia Textiles Finishers Co., to promote and manufacture cotton fabrics rendered water, fire and mildew proof. In World War II this company provided the armed forces with treated canvas as well as fire-resistant compounds to be used in situ, in recognition of which it was awarded the Army-Navy “E” five times.

He retired from business in 1953 to pursue his hobbies of travel and photography. He served on the Board of Directors of The Women’s College and Hospital, The Stephen Douglass Memorial Hospital, The Girard Trust Co. and the Norristown Public Library. He was a member of the Philadelphia Skating Club and Humane Society and various technical and horticultural societies.

He was elected to membership in the Alpine Club of Canada (1947) and the American Alpine Club (1950), his ascents at that time including more than 30 peaks in the Canadian Rockies and Selkirks. In 1949 he ascended an out-rider of Tronador in the Chilean-Argentine Andes. We made a motor circuit of Sicily with our wives in 1954, Gus and the writer spending a memorable day walking up to and looking into the crater of Mount Etna.

J. Monroe Thorington

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