John Betts was born in Illinois in 1956 and attended the University of Illinois, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Industrial Design in 1978. He worked for several industrial design (product design) consulting firms in Dallas, Chicago and New York. From 1984 to 2001. He also worked for Henry Dreyfuss Associates, one of the oldest and most prestigious industrial designs firm in the country, attaining the position of Associate and acting Design Director. Among Mr. Betts successful design are several cameras for Polaroid and Kodak, medical instruments for Boehringer Mannheim, and the entire product line of fishing gear for Abu Garcia (Sweden). In 1990 Fusion Planning magazine (Japan) cited Mr. Betts as one of the top 50 product designers in the U.S. In 1994 Business Week magazine honored him with the highest honor in design with the Gold Design Excellence Award and featured his design for the Polaroid Vision camera in a full page article. He currently holds over 75 domestic and international design patents.
He started collecting minerals in 1969, at the age of 13, while living in California. His interest in minerals was heightened during summer vacation in Maine where he heard the famous mineral collector, Stanley Perham, lecture about the huge beryl crystals discovered at the Bumpus quarry in Maine. Mr. Betts has field-collected minerals in Maine and other New England states ever since. His skills as a prolific field collector led to modest mineral sales at local mineral shows in the New York City area where he has lived since 1982. By 1990 he was selling at 12 mineral shows per year. In 1996 Mr. Betts started an internet web site, johnbetts-fineminerals.com, which rapidly expanded to became a second full-time job. In 2001, after 23 years of working as a product designer, Mr. Betts left design work to devote his full time and energy to selling minerals. Today his internet web site sells over 5000 mineral specimens per year to customers around the world.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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