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Russell E. Bartlett

Russell Edward Bartlett was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan on February 10, 1871, the son of Jeanette Packard and Azel Eliot Bartlett, owner of the Kalamazoo Fire Extinguisher Company. He began dealing by mail-order in minerals, fossils, shells and Indian relics in 1883, and sold specimen trays with 15 thumbnail-size mineral specimens glued to labeled squares in a box – he called it the "Young Idea Cabinet of Minerals," and charged 25 cents postpaid. It won him a Diploma of Merit at the "1888 Fair" (although exactly which fair he did not specify – that year there were "World's Fairs" in Melbourne, Glasgow, Brussels, Barcelona, Lisbon and Copenhagen; for all we know, he might have been referring to a State Fair). Bartlett billed himself as the "cheapest dealer in the country."

Bartlett was working as a clerk for the Kalamazoo Telephone Company in 1889, but soon thereafter he established R. E. Bartlett & Company, "manufacturers and dealers in gummed labels, price marks, advertising stickers and electrotype cuts" (1889-1901 City Directories). He married Lulu "Lutie" A. Peck in 1895, and together they had one daughter, Frances Bartlett, in 1896. By 1903 his listing in the Naturalist's Universal Directory showed him living in Rockford, Illinois, perhaps for the purpose of medical treatment. His death certificate shows that he died of tuberculosis at the age of 33, on July 26, 1904, in Kalamazoo.

U.S. Federal Census, 1880.
Kalamazoo City Directories.
Naturalist's Universal Directory.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
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The Mineralogical Record - Russell E. Bartlett Bartlett ad in the February 1886 Exchanger's Monthly.
The Mineralogical Record - Russell E. Bartlett Bartlett ad in the January 1889 issue of The Oölogist.
The Mineralogical Record - Russell E. Bartlett Bartlett ad in the May 1889 Exchanger's Monthly.
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