Julius "Julie" Weber was born in New York City on April 8, 1914, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants Cecilia and Abraham Weber, a pocketbook and purse-maker in a Brooklyn factory. Julie attended Brooklyn College and Columbia University, but his photographic expertise was largely self-taught. In 1974, Jersey City State College awarded him an honorary Doctor of Science degree. He was a member of the New York Academy of Science, a Fellow of the Biological Photographers Association, a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain, and a Fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society. He married Mary S. ____ in 1938, and together they had four children (Robert, Margaret, Lenore and Nancy). They settled permanently in Mamaroneck, New York in 1967.
Before directing his efforts toward minerals, Julie was already a highly accomplished and innovative professional photomicrographer, mostly in the medical field. He published the first Kodachrome (color) photomicrograph in a 1939 (in Leica Photography) and published color fluorescent photographs of bacteria as early as 1946. He was the first to use electronic flash in medical photography and the first to photograph living cells using the Zeiss Phase Microscope. Throughout his career, Julie was an innovator, contributing to improvements in photomicrography and the microscopes, cameras and film that produced them. His photomicrographs have appeared in 61 books.
Julius Weber was well known in the mineral community for his early work in photomicrography. He provided all of the photographs for the very popular first edition of the Encyclopedia of Minerals (Roberts, Rapp and Weber, 1974). He served as an associate photographer for the Mineralogical Record from 1976 to 1993, and he particularly enjoyed working on the photomicrographic needs of professional mineralogists such as Joe Mandarino, Paul Moore and Bill Roberts. He was a Research Associate in the Department of Mineralogy of the Royal Ontario Museum and in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences of the American Museum of Natural History. Lou Perloff, also well know as a prolific mineral photomicrographer, credited his own renowned photomicrographic acumen to Julie's tutelage.
For decades Julie and his close friend Lou Perloff (1907-2004) collaborated in their micromounting efforts, each assembling important collections. In 1997, Perloff gave his 20,000+ micromount collection to Weber, bringing the combined total to well over 52,000 specimens. Julie died in Mamaroneck, New York on March 9, 2003, at the age of 89, leaving behind one of the largest and most remarkable micromount collections ever assembled. In 2004, Julie's wife Mary donated this combined collection to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
Mary was born July 23, 1916, and passed away on May 2, 2007, at the age of 90.
Social Security Death Index.
U.S. Federal Census, 1930.
KAMPF, A. R. (2005) Died, Julius Weber, 89. Mineralogical Record, 36 (2), 140.
KAMPF, A. R. (2005) In memoriam: Julius "Julie" Weber (1914-2003). Rocks & Minerals, 80 (3), 205-206.
ANON. (2004) Mary S. Weber. Larchmont Gazette.
NIKISCHER, T. (2005) Los Angeles County Museum acquires outstanding micromount collection. Mineral News, 21 (2), 1, 2, 15.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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