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Langdon walked away from a promising career in patent law in 1852 to assist in the organization of a YMCA in the District of Columbia. Beyond the achievement of founding a major urban YMCA, Langdon’s greatest work was as a driving force in the development of a national YMCA identity. As founder of the National Confederation of Young Men’s Christian Associations and its operating body known as the Central Committee, Langdon played a decisive role in shaping the American YMCA movement. Langdon was a champion of the ecumenical, nondenominational character of the YMCA. He was elected the first general secretary in 1854. Langdon was also instrumental in founding the World Alliance of YMCAs. YMCA historian Howard Hopkins called Langdon “the most significant figure of the first decade” of the YMCA in the United States.
This image has attached on the verso a postcard addressed to J.T. Bowne which reads, "I forgot yesterday to forward you the accompanying sample, from which you can better judge. W.C. L. Bedford, Pa. July 19 1888." There is also a seal on the back of the photograph, "F. Gutekunst. 712 Arch St. Philadelphia".