Jesse Cope Green
Jesse Cope Green, an early micromounter, was born on a farm in Birmingham Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania on December 3, 1817. He began his working life as a teacher but subsequently studied dentistry and thereafter was referred to as "Dr." He began practicing dentistry in Westchester, Pennsylvania in 1841 and continued to practice there until 1909 at the age of 92.
Dr. J. C. Green, as he has been referred to in articles and books on micromounting, was a man of many talents and interests. His hobbies included collecting almanacs, walking sticks, presidential autographs, and gold coins. He was a devoted microscopist who actually built his own microscopes and modified them. He was also an inventor. As an amateur meteorologist, he reported the weather in West Chester, Pennsylvania to the National Weather Service for many years.
Dr. Green was a founding member and oft times president of the West Chester Microscopical Society. He was an accomplished slide maker and was one of the first people to make microscope slides of minerals. William W. Jefferis was another member of this society and a friend of Dr. Green. It is possible that Dr. Green's raw materials came from Jefferis. Micromounter John B. Brinton was also a member of the society.
Dr. Green made what are described as "Victorian Microscope Slides." He mounted many different subjects, but his main focus was minerals, especially gold. He was a proficient and artful maker of slides – not an easy process to master. It is clear that he purchased and traded slides, as his collection is fairly diverse. Dr. Green exhibited slides of minerals as early as 1877 at a meeting of the Westchester Microscopical Society.
It is probable that Green knew pioneering micromounters George Rakestraw and George Washington Fiss. All three were present at an exhibition of Microscopes and Microscopical apparatus at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia in 1881. All three men exhibited microscopic minerals and were mentioned in an article in The Journal of Microscopy. Slides made by Rakestraw and Fiss are found in Dr. Green's collection and may be the result of trades between the three men.
In an interesting sidelight, at the above-mentioned meeting Rakestraw and Fiss exhibited together minerals which were described as follows, "The above are believed to be entirely new objects." Could this have been the first public exhibition of micromounts?
Dr. Green was quite active up until his death on July 26, 1920, at age 103. He died as a result of falling from a ladder while hanging a picture. He was known as "the grand old man of West Chester" and was a leading citizen and leader whose obituary appeared in The New York Times. Dr. Green's collection of microscope slides was eventually acquired by Robert Hesse, and was inherited by his grandson, Robert Hesse, in whose care it is currently preserved.
The above biography was kindly provided by Robert Hesse.
Various newspaper articles from the West Chester Daily Local News, The Philadelphia Record, The North American and The Philadelphia Ledger.
The American Journal of Microscopy and Popular Science, Volume VI, 1881.
WIGHT, Q. (1993) The Complete Book of Micromounting. Mineralogical Record, Tucson.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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||Dr. J. C. Green|
||Close-up of silver wires in the above mount.|