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Hermann Jordan

German mineral and fossil collector Friedrich Wilhelm Hermann Jordan was born in Wetzlar, Germany, on April 19, 1808. He earned his medical degree and settled down to practice in the town of Saarbrucken.

As a young man with a lung disease he looked for a high altitude place in Switzerland, free of tourism, and found it in the small village of Imfeld, close to the Lengenbach quarry. Every summer he spent a few weeks there. Interested in mineralogy, he built up a small but very fine collection of Swiss minerals, which Paul Groth eventually purchased for Strasbourg University (where it still resides). His specimens are identified on the Strasbourg labels by the words "Jordan'sche Sammlung" or "Jordan'sche Samml."It was said to be the best collection of its kind after Wiser's collection.

Directly or indirectly through Groth, many mineralogists, like Gerhard vom Rath., Sartorius von Waltershausen and Heinrich Baumhauer, developed an interest in the Lengenbach minerals after having examined specimens from the Jordan collection. Jordan was also fascinated by the Carboniferous and Permian fossils from the Saarland; his rich fossil collection was acquired by the Humboldt University in Berlin.

The Lengenbach mineral jordanite was named in his honor by Gerhard vom Rath in 1864, Jordan having provided the first specimens for analysis. Jordan died in Saarbrucken on August 8, 1887, at the age of 79.

GUTHÖRL, P. (1962) The Saarbrücker Sanitätsrat Dr. med. med. Friedrich Jordan as a naturalist and fossil collector in: History and landscape. Heimatbeilage of the Saarbrücker Zeitung, No. 27.
HEYNEMAN, D. F. (1888) Report on the Senckenbergische Naturforschende Gesellschaft in Frankfurt am Main. June 1887 to 1888, p. 5.
ROTH, P. (2007) Minerals First Discovered in Switzerland.
Saarländisches Biographien, retrieved July 23, 2016.
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The Mineralogical Record - Hermann Jordan Hermann Jordan
The Mineralogical Record - Hermann Jordan 47 x 56 mm
The Mineralogical Record - Hermann Jordan Label including crystal form notations (Courtesy of Steve Hardinger)
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