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Oscar H. Smith

Oscar Hill Smith was born in Salem, Oregon on March 18, 1893, the son of Dottie Van Der Boon and Oscar Governor Smith (1861-1912), a carpenter. In 1914 he began working as a jeweler for the W.S. Myers Company in Portland, Oregon before starting his own business, Smith's Agate Shop, in 1918. In 1920 he listed himself as "part-owner" of the store, probably in partnership with his younger brother Archie Hartman Smith. He married three times: (1) Ruth Thayer in 1919, (2) Thelma Markham and (3) Nora McMillan.

Smith was well-known in the Portland area, and was one of the first commercial gem cutters to share his faceting techniques with amateurs, at a time when such knowledge was usually considered a trade secret. He was also one of the first (in 1918) to use a modern diamand saw, with the diamonds imbedded in the metal of the saw rather than applied separately as a paste. His shop dealt primarily in lapidary supplies and cutting rough, but he also carried a stock of fine mineral specimens. In 1936 he advertised the "largest stock of minerals in the Northwest." In 1937 he advertised fluorescent minerals, and in 1941 added a line of mineral books. In 1942 he advertised a "large stock of rough gem cutting material, finished cut gems, fine minerals, and books."

Oscar Hill Smith died of cancer in Portland at the age of 56, on August 27, 1949. Smith's Agate Shop had by then been taken over by his brother, Archie.

DAKE, H.C. (1949) Oscar H. Smith (Obituary). The Mineralogist, 17 (10), 464.
World War I Draft Registration Card 1917-1918
Oregon Death Index 1903-1998
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
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The Mineralogical Record - Oscar H. Smith Oscar H. Smith
The Mineralogical Record - Oscar H. Smith 48 x 89 mm
The Mineralogical Record - Oscar H. Smith 50 x 89 mm
The Mineralogical Record - Oscar H. Smith 46 x 77 mm,
dated April 1937
The Mineralogical Record - Oscar H. Smith 45 x 76 mm,
dated February 1938
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