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Theodore D. Rand

Theodore Dehon Rand (also known as Thomas Rand) was born September 16, 1836 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of a writing master, Benjamin Howard Rand, and his wife Eleanor Spurrier. Theodore married Margarette Emma Belrose in 1864, served in the Union Army during the Civil War, had a daughter named Alice in 1866, and became a lawyer with an office in Philadephia and a home in nearby Radnor.

Rand received his education at the Episcopal Academy in Philadelphia, and later at the Polytechnical College, Philadelphia. He was a member of an earlier American natural science organization called "The Philadelphia School of Science," which met at the old University Buildings of the Philomathean Society on 9th street in Philadelphia. Other members included Henry Morton (later President of Stevens Institute), Albert R. Leeds (later Professor of Chemistry as Stevens), Robert H. Lamborn, William Trautwine, and William J. Palmer.

Rand studied both botany and chemistry, but his greatest interest lay in mineralogy and geology; in his time he was regarded as one of the leading authorities on the mineralogy of southeastern Pennsylvania. Possessed of a remarkably retentive memory and recall, he was known among his friends as "The Oracle."

Rand was elected a member of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Science in September 1857, and went on to serve as Council member in December of 1879, Curator of the Mineralogical and Geological Section from 1877, and Curator of the William S. Vaux collection from 1899 until his death. He was a frequent contributor of articles to the Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Science -- a total of 34 papers spanning 32 years, most of which addressed the study of regional geology and mineralogy. His final contribution, "Notes on the geology of southeastern Pennsylvania," is a comprehensive record of his field and laboratory work on the subject.

Rand also contributed articles to Reports of the Second Pennsylvania Geological Survey, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the Journal of the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia, where he served as a member of the Board of Managers (1874), and later as Vice President from 1897 until his death. He served as treasurer of the American Institute of Mining Engineers from 1873 to 1903.

Rand discovered a uraniferous mineral occurrence in a Philadelphia quarry adjacent to Fairmount Park, and the substance was subsequently named randite in his honor, but it was later discredited as a mixture of kaolinite, tyuyamunite and uranophane. He built a substantial mineral collection which he bequeathed to Bryn Mawr College; he died on April 24, 1903.

DROWN, T.M. (903) Biographical Notice of Theodore D. Rand. Transactions of the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers, 34, 695.
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