Lorenzo Langstroth was born in Philadelphia, Pa. on Christmas Day, 1810. He was a prolific published author, kept private journals, and is the subject of several biographies—including a book by Florence Naile.
He was a family man, a scientist, an inventor, a writer, an abolitionist, and a manic-depressive—but above all, a minister. Father Langstroth loved to tell stories, and each had a moral. Although poor health prevented him from being, for very long, pastor of his own church, he “supplied the pulpit” as much as he could during the healthy periods of his long life.
Rev. Langstroth’s contribution to our lives today is inestimable. He invented the modern beehive, which has made intensive cultivation of some crops possible, and has greatly increased the yield of others. The modern Langstroth hive—that familiar stack of (usually white) boxes—is now used all over the world, and although many attempts have been made to invent a better one, the basic design he invented in 1851 is still the most economical and effective. His classic 1853 book, The Hive and the Honeybee, is still available in its original edition and an annotated edition. The Dadant company has also published succeeding editions, keeping up to date with modern contributors.
Rev. Langstroth died in 1895 at the age of 85 on a Sunday morning, in the pulpit beginning a sermon. The beekeepers of his day erected a monument at his grave in Dayton, Ohio.