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Mark Chance Bandy

Mark Chance Bandy, prominent American mining engineer and mineral collector, was born in Redfield, Iowa on July 22, 1900, the only son of Hattie C. Chance and John L. Bandy, a day laborer. He graduated from Redfield High School in 1918, then attended Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, while working part-time as a clerk in a local drug store. After graduating in 1922 with an A.B. degree in Chemistry, he went on to earn his degree in Mining Engineering from Columbia University in 1926, and his PhD from Harvard in 1938.

In 1929 Bandy married Jean Arney, who became his lifelong companion and accompanied him on many of his geological and mineral collecting excursions to remote localities. His work as a mining engineer took him chiefly to South America but also to Europe, Africa and the United States. Among the minerals he collected in Chile in 1935 was a previously unknown species later named bandylite in his honor. He and his wife Jean translated Agricola's De natura fossilium into English, and he wrote an important mineralogical description of Llallagua, Bolivia.

Bandy collected many fine minerals in the field and traded with the major museums while also building an excellent personal collection. He also helped identify some of the 2,100 specimens willed to the Central Iowa Mineral Society by Halver Straight, who died in 1956. After retiring to Wickenberg, Arizona in 1958, Bandy set up his mineral collection in a special building near his home, where he entertained friends and visiting mineral collectors. He contributed many specimens to the Harvard Mineralogical Museum and the Smithsonian Institution, and was instrumental in helping those institutions acquire the famous Friedrick Kegel collection of Tsumeb minerals and the Friedrich Ahlfeld collection of South American minerals.

Bandy died June 3, 1963, of a tropical disease acquired while doing field work in Ghana. His collection went mostly to the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. In 1969 about 30 other cabinet specimens were loaned (and later donated) by family members to the Central Iowa Mineral Society, and are currently on display in a hallway of the science building at Bandy's alma mater, Drake University. They include: Wavellite from Llallagua, Bolivia; Adamite,Mapimi, Mexico; Arsenic, St. Andreasberg, Harz, Germany; Calcite on quartz, Guanajuato, Mexico; Pyrolusite, Bou Arfa, Morocco; Azurite, Bamanga, Belgian Congo; Gypsum, Telsford, England; Rosasite, Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Mexico; Rosasite, Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Mexico; Galena, Bou Bekar, Morocco; Malachite, Tseumeb, S.W. Africa; Hematite, Elba; Gypsum, Naica, Mexico; Cerussite, Flux Mine, Pima Co., Arizona; Apatite, Llallagua, Bolivia (the one that matches the label); Calcite, Cumberland, England; Stibnite, La India, Bolivia; Garnierite, Bou Azzer, Morocco; Malachite on Dolomite, Bou Bekar, Morocco; Cerussite and Smithsonite, Broken Hill, N. Rhodesia plus a few from southern U.S.

The mineral jeanbandyite was later named after Bandy's wife, in honor of her dedication to mineralogy.

JONES, R. W. (1973) The Mark Chance Bandy collection. Mineralogical Record, 4, 277-281.
MASON, B. (1966) Memorial to Mark Chance Bandy (1900-1963). Geological Society of America Bulletin, v.77, n.2, p.13-16.
SWITZER, G. (1964) Memorial of Mark Chance Bandy. American Mineralogist, 49, 464-468.
U.S. Federal Census 1920.
World War I Draft Registration Cards 1917-1918.
PETERSON, ED (2008) Personal communication.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
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The Mineralogical Record - Mark Chance Bandy Mark Chance Bandy
The Mineralogical Record - Mark Chance Bandy 55 x 92 mm,
Dated on the front, January 30, 1930.
The Mineralogical Record - Mark Chance Bandy 55 x 93 mm
The Mineralogical Record - Mark Chance Bandy 43 x 71 mm,
Marked on the back "From Kegel Collection"
The Mineralogical Record - Mark Chance Bandy 44 x 71 mm,
Marked on the back "Level 446"
The Mineralogical Record - Mark Chance Bandy 44 x 71 mm
The Mineralogical Record - Mark Chance Bandy 43 x 72 mm
The Mineralogical Record - Mark Chance Bandy 43 x 70 mm,
Marked on the back: "Dolores-Contacto Vein, Level 295"
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