C. Scott Althouse (1880-1970)

Born on September 23, 1880, C. Scott Althouse was the only child of Nathan S. and Miranda Althouse. In 1900, he graduated from the Philadelphia Textile Institute. Returning home to Reading, Pennsylvania, Althouse joined his father in the business of dyeing textiles. He soon made his presence known through his inventions. Among his earliest innovations were a belt dressing compound that made leather machine belts last longer, a shrink-proofing process for wool, and a rotary pocket and paddle dyeing machine which vastly expanded the dyeing capacity for hosiery.

In 1905, Althouse became co-owner of the Neversink Dyeing Company, named for the industrial street on which it was located in Reading. From 1911 to 1915, his company expanded as Althouse concentrated on the development of Cupro-ammonium Rayon, or “Bemberg”. Difficulties in perfecting the process for “Bemberg” and a First World War blockade of Germany which created a severe shortage of dyestuffs prompted Althouse to concentrate on developing new sources of dyes. He founded the Althouse Chemical Company, Inc. in 1915, and the company soon became his primary interest. When his other business interests failed during the Great Depression, Althouse moved ACC, Inc. towards the marketing of specialty dye products that included fade-resistant dyes for viscose rayon and dyes for DuPont’s nylon.

Friends of Althouse’s who were alumni of Dickinson College introduced him to the school. In 1948, Althouse received an honorary doctor of science. He became a trustee of the college in 1950, and befriended the struggling chemistry department. His friendship with Professor Ernest Vuilleumier, combined with his lifelong love of learning and chemistry, prompted Althouse to donate $300,000 towards the construction of a new chemistry building. Unfortunately, Professor Vuilleumier did not live to see the opening of Althouse Science Hall in 1958. C. Scott Althouse himself died on March 21, 1970.

Author of Post: 
Dickinson College Archives
Date of Post: 
2005
College Relationship: 
Trustee - Years of Service: 
1950-1970
Honorary Degree - Year: 
1948