William Lowell Putnam,Charles Ernest Fay,Allen Herbert Bent,Howard Palmer,James Monroe Thorington,Andrew John Kauffman
Light Technology Publishing
A Century of American Alpinism by William Lowell Putnam,Charles Ernest Fay,Allen Herbert Bent,Howard Palmer,James Monroe Thorington,Andrew John Kauffman Summary
Charles Ernest Fay (1846?1931), the ?Mr. American Mountaineering? of his day, was chairman of the meeting that led to the foundation of the Appalachian Mountain Club in 1876. Thereafter he served several terms as that club?s president and was the editor of its Journal, APPALACHIA, for 40 years. In 1902 he was elected as the first president of The American Alpine Club, and reelected for a second three-year term. In 1917, he was elected president once more, thus becoming not only the Club?s first president but also its longest serving. During all this period he was Professor of Modern Languages at Tufts College in Medford, Massachusetts, where he shared offices with the junior editor ? albeit with a hiatus of 18 years between their respective occupancies. Allen Herbert Bent (1867?1926), a native of Boston, Massachusetts, started his life of scholarly research into alpinism by dropping our of college ? anything but a promising beginning. Soon, however, he began the serious study of the history of mountaineering, ultimately writing extensively on this topic. He became the first person elected to The American Alpine Club, during its days of ?exclusivity,? under the ?or the equivalent? clause of membership prerequisites, for he was never a serious alpinist ? always contenting himself with the study of its literature. Howard Palmer (1883?1944), a lawyer by training, inherited the management of his family?s mattress manufacturing business in New London, Connecticut. Starting in 1907, he compiled an enviable record of first ascents in the mountains of western Canada and in 1914 published the North American classic, MOUNTAINEERING AND EXPLORATION IN THE SELKIRKS. He served as editor of the Club?s first guidebook and several editions of its JOURNAL. He also furthered the organization as its secretary, a director and as its president. James Monroe Thorington (1894?1989), of Philadelphia, was an ophthalmologist by profession, following in the footsteps of his father. After the end of World War I, Roy, as he was known to his intimates, spent most of his vacation time in the mountains of western Canada and served as editor of the Club?s guidebooks to that region for several editions. A diligent student of alpine literature, he compiled a number of scholarly researches into the history of American alpinism, served many years as a director of the Club, one term as its president, then for 10 years as editor of the AMERICAN ALPINE JOURNAL, and gave the Club some of the most valuable items in its museum. In 2000, the UIAA gave its first award for research into the history of alpinism under the name of James Monroe Thorington. After graduating from Harvard in 1942, Andrew John Kauffman (b. 1921) the son of two distinguished American literary figures, spent his entire working career in various diplomatic capacities. Between State Department assignments in Washington, Paris, Managua and Calcutta, he spent weekends and holidays in the Alps and the mountains of Peru, Colombia, Alaska, Canada, and finally in the Karakoram, where he demonstrated a high level of acromania by becoming one of the only two Americans to make the first ascent of an 8000 meter peak. He also served the Club as a counselor and as vice-president and was elected to Honorary Membership. William Lowell Putnam (b. 1924) has been an official of the Harvard Mountaineering Club, the Appalachian Mountain Club, then The American Alpine Club and finally the International Association of Alpine Societies (UIAA), and has been honored by several other mountaineering societies. His major employment was in television broadcasting, but his heart remains in the mountains of western Canada. At this writing he is the sole trustee of Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. While many have wished for the opportunity, people have not yet read his obituary.