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Merle R. Reid

Merle Raymond "Mel" Reid was born in Gorham, New Hampshire on Aug 16, 1927, the son of Canadian immigrants Bernice Reed and Philip Raymond Reid, a millwright in a paper mill. In 1946 Merle enlisted in the U.S. Army, for the Panama Canal Department; and he served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean Conflict. He married Lela Marie Davis.

Merle's principal profession was in the hydraulics business. He and George Robertson started a mineral business called Crystal Gallery in the early or mid-1960's. They operated first from Merle's home at 2192 South Zenobia Street in Denver, and later from his new home at 20 South Garrison St. in Lakewood, Colorado. Merle and George had what were probably the finest minerals for sale in Colorado at the time. That was really saying something considering the competition. Merle was excellent at trimming and cleaning minerals, and was fastidious about labels; he hand-wrote many of the labels for Crystal Gallery.

Merle and George had a significance influence on the growth of top-quality mineral collecting in Colorado. With financing from Augie Polidori, they purchased the first great pocket of rhodochrosite crystals from the Sweet Home mine in 1966, including the specimen later known as the "Alma Queen." That famous specimen was traded to Peter Bancroft and, after changing hands several times, is now in the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

In February 1968 Merle and George announced (in a letter to Albert Chapman) that their company "Crystal Gallery Inc." had just merged with Heinz Eckert's "Educational Mineral Research," and was to become known as "Colorado Geological Industries." By the following year, Merle and George gotten out of the business and Heinz Eckert ended up with their mineral inventory. Merle returned to the hydraulics business, starting a new company with Augie called Alta Hydraulics. After Merle suffered a severe heart attack, he tried to return to the mineral business. Augie Polidori, Merle Reid and Ron Pingenot opened Tejon Gallery in 1972, and eventually Ron became the sole owner.

Merle remarried (Joan ____) and operated a small gem and mineral business, Alta Crystal Gallery, at 1880 South Pierce Avenue in Lakewood, Colorado. Their ads appeared in the Mineralogical Record from March-April 1975 to March-April 1978; as of January-February 1977 their address was given as Denver. Merle's health was failing and he retired a few years before his death on June 1, 1990. By virtue of his military service, he was buried in Ft. Logan National Cemetery in Colorado.

U.S. Veterans' Gravesites, 1775-2006.
Social Security Death Index.
U.S. Federal Census, 1930.
U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946.
PINGENOT, R.D. (2008) Personal communication.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
Biographical Archive, at]
Click on thumbnail picture to see larger image.
Number of labels found: 6 | Labels being viewed: 1 to 6

The Mineralogical Record - Merle R. Reid 38 x 73 mm,
Garrison Street address.
The Mineralogical Record - Merle R. Reid 38 x 72 mm,
Garrison Street address.
The Mineralogical Record - Merle R. Reid 36 x 76 mm,
Zenobia Street address. Dated February 17, 1963 on the back.
The Mineralogical Record - Merle R. Reid 28 x 71 mm,
No address.
The Mineralogical Record - Merle R. Reid 34 x 65 mm,
Tejon Gallery label

The Mineralogical Record - Merle R. Reid 33 x 62 mm,
Inscribed on the back "#6358 2/75"
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