LANGBEIN, Fritz, (1891 - 1967)
The death occurred on 28 April of F. LANGBEIN, C. Eng., M.I.C.E., M.N.Z.I.E., former engineer-in-chief of the Ministry of Works and chairman of the National Roads Board. He was aged 76.
Born in Nelson and educated at Nelson College, Mr Langbein joined the then Public Works Department in 1909 and served his engineering cadetship on the construction of the Midland railway between Broken River and Arthur's Pass. In 1913 he was appointed assistant engineer, and worked at Otira on the construction of the Arthur's Pass tunnel, in Central Otago on the railway construction between Clyde and Cromwell, and also on irrigation work.
Mr Langbein served with the NZ Engineer's Tunnelling Company in World War I. After his return to New Zealand he was appointed engineer in local charge of the Arthur's Pass tunnel construction, then in its final stages. In 1920, at the age of 29, he was appointed to take charge of the Canterbury Public Works District, remaining in that position until 1940. Mr Langbein was closely associated with improved roading projects after the formation of the Main Roads Board, and also with aerodrome construction and defence works in the Canterbury province. From 1940 to 1945 he was highways engineer, the chief administrative engineering position of the Main Highways Board, in 1945 being appointed inspecting engineer of the Public Works Department. He became engineer-in-chief in 1946 and retired in 1951. Mr Langbein was president of the NZ Institution of Engineers in 1951.
Extract from New Zealand Engineering, June 1967, p 258.
Aspden, R J; "Langbein, Fritz, 1891 - 1967", Essay L4, Dictionary of New Zealand Biography Vol 5 , pp 279-80 (www.dnzb.govt.nz)