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James G. Manchester

James Greenfield Manchester was born in Fall River, Massachusetts on September 20, 1871. He was "a man whose love of fine mineral specimens found expression in a lifetime of devoted service to his fellow collectors and enthusiasts." As a young man he began collecting minerals around 1892. He also studied typing, and created artworks composed of typewritten characters which won the highest award at the Columbian Exposition in 1893. Manchester married Florence Pilkington (1873-1919) in Fall River around 1895 and they had a son, James Jr., in 1896; he died in 1943, sadly predeceasing his father, but gave him a grandson, James G. Manchester III, that same year. Manchester moved with his wife and son to New York City between 1897 and 1900 to serve as Treasurer of the Manhattan Church of the Ascension, then took a position as Assistant Treasurer of the New York Mutual Life Insurance Company (by 1910) and Treasurer (by 1920); by 1930 he had been appointed Assistant Manager of their real estate division.

Manchester was an enthusiastic and generous mineral collector, with an eye for high-quality specimens. He often bestowed choice specimens or suites on his friends and acquaintances, on promising young collectors, and on many eastern mineralogical museums including the American Museum of Natural History in New York. He was a frequent lecturer on the joys of mineral collecting before mineral clubs and high school and Boy Scouts groups. In 1921, still grieving from the death of his beloved wife in 1919, Manchester donated a collection of 3,000 specimens in six sloping-top glass cases to the Public Library in their hometown of Fall River; he had it dedicated in his late wife's memory, as the "Florence Pilkington Manchester Memorial Collection." In 1923 he remarried, to Mrs. Clara A. Ehmer.

Manchester served as President of the New York Mineralogical Club, succeeding George F. Kunz in that position, and financed the Club's publication of his book, The Minerals of New York City and Its Environs, in 1931. He was a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Mineralogical Society of America. Following his retirement he spent winters in St. Petersburg, Florida where he collected chalcedony pseudomorphs after coral at the Ballast Point locality near Tampa. He died on June 28, 1948, at Southampton, Long Island, at the age of 76.

STANTON, G. (1949) Memorial of James Greenfield Manchester. American Mineralogist, 34, 253-255.
WHERRY, E.T. (1921) The Florence Pilkington Manchester Memorial Collection. American Mineralogist, 6, 53.
US Federal Census, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 (not found 1880).
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
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The Mineralogical Record - James G. Manchester James G. Manchester
The Mineralogical Record - James G. Manchester 24 x 65 mm
The Mineralogical Record - James G. Manchester 34 x 64 mm
The Mineralogical Record - James G. Manchester 36 x 66 mm
The Mineralogical Record - James G. Manchester 42 x 71 mm
The Mineralogical Record - James G. Manchester 35 x 66 mm
The Mineralogical Record - James G. Manchester 15 x 32 mm
The Mineralogical Record - James G. Manchester 16 x 27 mm,
A label for a specimen collected by Manchester following his retirement in Florida.
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