Sunday, April 07, 2013
Walter F. Rittman, Chemical Engineer
Walter F. Rittman was born in
Sandusky in 1883 to Christ and Louisa
Rittman. Walter was an excellent football player while at .
He worked his way through Sandusky High School Ohio Northern University,
and then went on to complete his Master’s Degree at
in 1909. At Swarthmore College , he earned his doctorate. Dr. Rittman was pioneer in the field of chemical
engineering, and was considered one of the outstanding chemical engineers of his time. In 1915 he gained national attention for his invention of a
process which increased the output of gasoline from crude oil. He also
perfected several other processes used in the explosive and dyestuff
industries, which were used by the Columbia
University U.S. government during World War
I. He wrote several articles about the application of chemistry to
industrial processes. From 1921 to 1933, Dr. Rittman was connected
with the engineering department of the Carnegie Institute of Technology. He
also served as a trustee of the
from 1928 to 1941. For a time, Dr. Rittman was an instructor in chemistry at Ohio
Northern University , and later he worked as a
chemist in the U.S. Bureau of Mines. On September 26, 1954, Dr. Walter F.
Rittman died in Columbia University . He was survived by his wife
Anna, two sons, a daughter, and a sister, Mrs. Elmer B. Otto of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania .
Dr. Rittman was buried in Sandusky, Ohio , where his family had a
summer home. Chautauqua,