William S. Newcomet
William Stell Newcomet was born July 20, 1872, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Elizabeth Keziah Stell and Henry Walborn Neukomet, MD. He attended the Friends School and Lauderbach Academy in Philadelphia, and first went to Germany with his mother, his older sister, Edith, and younger brother, Horace, after their father's death in 1885 from a pulmonary hemmorhage. The family lived in Germany for several years, and while there he attended the University of Berlin (1888-1889), studying Chemistry. Upon his return to the US in 1890, he entered and graduated (in 1893) from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, as had his father, and thereafter made his living as a physician and radiologist. He was a pioneer in medical radiology.
According to Pendergrass, "From childhood he [Newcomet] was an avid collector of minerals, and as he grew older he made trips to many mines and caves to obtain new specimens for his large collection. He was particularly interested in fluorescent minerals, and fond of showing them under various lights." His other hobbies included automobiles, sketching scenery along the Brandywine River, and beekeeping.
William married Katherine Ewing MacKeown in 1897. They had two children, a daughter, Elizabeth, who was born in 1899, and a child who died in infancy. In 1903 William, Katherine and Elizabeth traveled to Europe (perhaps to visit Katherine's family--her father was from Scotland), returning on October 14th aboard the Noordland out of Liverpool. William served as President of the Philadelphia Roentgen Ray Society in 1919-1920. In 1936 William and Catherine took another trip to Europe, returning on October 10 aboard the Statendam out of Southampton, England. He served as Director of the Lucy B. Henderson Foundation for Radiation Therapy, Jefferson Medical College, from 1915 to 1949. He died in Philadelphia at the age of 88, on September 9, 1960.
Mineralogically his only article, by "Dr. William S. Newcomet," appeared in Rocks & Minerals in July 1940: "Observations of some old micromounts." This does not necessaruily imply that Newcomet himself was a micromounter, for the article is based on a study of several hundred old mounts loaned to him by his friend, Dr. Douglas Macfarlan.
U.S. Federal Census, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930.
NEWCOMET, W. S. (1940) Observations of some old micromounts. Rocks & Minerals, 15 (7), 232-235.
DAUGHERTY, SARAH. B. (great granddaughter of WSN)(2009) Personal communication.
PENDERGRASS, E.P. (1961) Memoir of William Stell Newcomet (1872-1960). Transactions & studies of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, 29, 41-4.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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