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Herbert V. Corbett

Herbert Vernon "Herb" Corbett was born in Ypsilanti, Michigan on September 7, 1909, the son of Sadie and Joseph Corbett, a farm laborer. By 1920 the family had moved to Norfolk County, Virginia; and by 1930 they were living in the Portsmouth, Virginia, area, where Herb's father had become an “evangelist” in the Pentecostal Church. Joseph also worked as a clerk at the Naval yard. Herb worked there as well in 1930, as a sheet metal fabricator. In 1951 Herb moved to the Baltimore area where he worked as a Navy civilian employee doing planning and estimating. He later performed the same duties for Bethlehem Steel Corporation in Sparrows Point, retiring in 1974.

Herb joined the Baltimore Mineral Society, and served as either an officer, a member of the Executive Board, or its chairman, almost continuously. The name Herb Corbett is practically synonymous with the Society. Over the years, Herb earned an outstanding and authoritative reputation, without pretense, extending beyond the US, for his knowledge of and collecting of minerals and in micromounting. He is a member of the Southern California, District of Columbia, and Canadian Micromineralogists. He has participated in most of their annual micromount conferences, as well as the annual Neal Yedlin micromount symposium. He is a charter member of the Friends of Mineralogy. Herb has given innumerable talks and presentations on minerals, collecting and micromounting to all kinds of clubs, schools, mineral societies and symposia. He is known for generously sharing self-collected, prepared microminerals from all over the US, Southern Canada, and Nova Scotia. For over eleven years, Herb commuted twice weekly to the Smithsonian as a volunteer verifying micromounts, including cataloging the Neal Yedlin collection. Under the auspices of the Executive Board of the Baltimore Mineral Society, Herbert V. Corbett led in the establishment and continuing success of the Micromounter's Hall of Fame (he was inducted in 1990). Herb was also a founding member of the Friends of Mineralogy in 1970.

Herb and Geneva accumulated a collection of more than 8,000 micromounts. They kept his-and-hers microscopes in the living room of the Acadia, Maryland home. Herb also served as president of the Baltimore Mineral Society. He died in Baltimore on Thursday, March 25, 1999.

Obituary (1999) The Baltimore Sun, March 29.
WIGHT, Q. (1993) The Complete Book of Micromounting. Mineralogical Record, Tucson, p.213.
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