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David M. Seaman

David Martin Seaman was born in Connecticut or New York on February 24, 1907, the son of Ruth Desso and Joseph Seaman, the manager of a steel foundry in Pittsburgh. Ruth was only 16 when she married 32-year-old Joseph Seaman in 1900. David's father had died between 1910 and 1920, and he was raised by his mother. He graduated from the University School [high school] in Pittsburgh in 1926, and enrolled at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in 1927, graduating in 1930 and moving on to the University of Colorado where he received his Master's Degree in 1934, writing his thesis on "Minerals and mineral deposits of the San Juan Region, Colorado," published (1934) by the University of Colorado. In 1935 he presented a collection of ores, "to be known as the Seaman Mineral Collection," to his alma mater, the University School in Pittsburgh.

He served as Associate Curator at the Carnegie Mineralogical Museum in Pittsburgh (in 1940 he is listed as a geologist at a museum in Pittsburgh, living with his mother, Ruth), as Associate Curator of the Mineralogical Museum at Harvard University in the 1950s, as Associate Curator of Mineralogy at the American Museum of Natural History in New York in the 1960s, as Curator of Minerals at the Museum of Western Colorado, and as Curator of the Minerals at the Delta Museum in Delta, Colorado. He was living in Mountain Home, Arkansas in 1993, and in Norway, Maine from 1994 until his death (he maintained a residence at that time in Grand Junction, Colorado as well).

He wrote a book for young collectors called The Story of Rocks and Minerals; A Guidebook for Young Collectors in 1956. He also wrote a number of articles for Rocks and Minerals between 1935 and the 1960s, including an eight-part series on "Pegmatite Minerals of the United States" and a 1965 article on the "History and Mineral Collections of the American Museum of Natural History."

He married Thelma Diane Januzzi (1933-2009) in 1972. David Seaman died in Montrose, Colorado on September 13, 1999.

His mineral collection was large, around 8,000 specimens, much of it field collected. It was purchased by the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum because about 25% of it is from Maine localities, and the rest can be used to support educational programs. It is not a fine collection in the contemporary sense, but probably typical of rockhounds of his time.

Social Security Death Index.
Connecticut Marriage Index.
U.S. Federal Census 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.
FRANCIS, C. (2014) Personal communication.
SEAMAN, D. M., and JACOBSON, M. I. (1977) David M. Seaman and the evolving role of mineral museums. Matrix, 5
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
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The Mineralogical Record - David M. Seaman David Seaman at the Guy Johnson quarry, 1983.
The Mineralogical Record - David M. Seaman Typical hand-typed specimen label used by David Seaman
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