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Harry von Eckermann

Claes Walther Harry von Eckermann was born in Stockholm, Sweden on November 5, 1886, the son of a wealthy patrician family with extensive business interests in the lumber, pulp and steel industries. He studied mining and metallurgy at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, graduating in 1909 as a metallurgist. He worked for three years as an electrometallurgist for U.S. Steel, then returned to Sweden to join the Ljusne-Woxna Company, becoming President in 1919.

During his studies at the university he developed such a strong interest in mineralogy that he later took time off from his industrial career to return to the University to study that subject. His special interest was skarn minerals, the focus of his 1922 PhD thesis.

During the 1920's he oversaw the construction of the East Coast Railroad, and took time out to examine the mineralogy of the various cuts, later writing a paper in 1928 on the carbonatite dikes that were exposed. Toward the end of the 1920's he decided to retire from his administrative positions and devote himself to mineralogical and geological research. He set up a private laboratory in Stockholm but later moved it to his country estate, Edeby, 60 miles southwest of Stockholm. Oddly enough, his work was aided by the Depression, which caused many workers to be layed off from the lumber industry and then hired by the government for roadbuilding projects which produced many new roadcuts and fresh exposures.

Eckermann was particularly interested in the mineralogy and geology of the Norra Kärr area, where the new species eckermannite was later found and named by Adamson in 1942. He eventually was granted an honorary degree from the University of Oslo, the title of Honorary Professor, and was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He died May 20, 1969.

A large and important portion of his collection, including his extensive Långban suite, was acquired by John Veevaert of Trinity Mineral Company in 2001.

WICKMAN, F.E. (1971) Memorial of Claes Walther Harry von Eckermann. American Mineralogist, 56, 680-685.
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