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Henry C. Dake

Henry Carl Dake, founder of The Mineralogist magazine, was born January 7, 1896 in Minnesota, the son of German immigrant parents; his father died when he was very young, and he was raised by his mother, Marie. He began his career as a pharmacist, until graduating in 1919 from North Pacific College with a degree in Dentistry, a profession which he practiced until the magazine had grown large enough to require all of his time. He first became interested in minerals in 1923, at the age of 27, and became an enthusiastic field collector along with his first wife Hilda. It was through her interest in gem minerals that his fondness for the lapidary arts developed.

In 1933 Dake and a group of like-minded individuals organized the Oregon Agate and Mineral Society, with Dake as its first president. In June of that same year Dake published the first issue of The Oregon Mineralogist as a bulletin for the fledgling club, but its popularity soon spread far beyond the club's membership. In 1943 Dake bought out his partners in the publication and became sole owner of what by then had been renamed as simply The Mineralogist. His special interests included fluorescence, radioactivity and gem cutting, and he was the author or coauthor of numerous books for amateur mineralogists, mineral collectors and lapidaries.

Dake was widely appreciated for the help he gave to other organizations, and in 1934 suggested the formation of a federation of clubs which ultimately became the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies in 1936; in 1938 he organized and was the first president of the Northwest Federation of Mineralogical Societies. In 1960 he retired from publishing, and his magazine and books were taken over by Gemac Corporation, the publisher of Gems and Minerals. But he continued to write articles up until the time of his death in Portland, Oregon on October 21, 1969.

MacLACHLAN, D. (1969) Dr. Henry C. Dake 1896-1969. Gems & Minerals, no. 387 (December 1969), p.10-11.
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