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ADAMS, Frank Dawson.

(1859 – 1942)

(Born: Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 17 September 1859; Died: Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 29 December 1942) Canadian geologist.

Adams was educated at McGill University, receiving his M.A. in 1884 and a Ph.D. in 1902, and at the University of Heidelberg recieving a Ph.D. in 1892. After serving some time on the staff of the Canadian Geological Survey, Adams was appointed lecturer in geology at McGill University, and in 1893 professor of geology. In 1908 he took on the position of dean of the faculty of applied science at the University and for a time the role of vice principal and as acting principal were also his. Adams was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1896 and of the Royal Society of London in 1907. He was president of the International Geological Society in 1913, and of the Geological Society of America in 1918. Adams was the author of many papers dealing with the igneous rocks of North America and the effects of temperature and pressure on those rocks. Towards the end of his life, he also wrote A History of Christ Church Cathedral, Montreal (Montreal, 1941).

Biographical references: Dictionary of Canadian Biography: 3. DSB: 1, 50-3 [by T.H. Clark]. Eakins, P.R., "Frank Dawson Adams (1859-1942) - founder of modern structural geology", Proceedings of the Geological Association of Canada, 24, (1972), no. 2, 13-6, portrait, figs. 1-3. ISIS, 1913-65: 1, 10. Mayerhöfer, Lexikon der Naturwissenschaften, 1958-75: 133. Mineralogical Magazine: 28 (1947), no. 199, 175-220, portrait. Nature: 151 (1943), 102-3. Obituary Notices of the Royal Society: 4 (1943), no. 12, 381-93, portrait. Poggendorff: 4, 8, 6, 19 & 7a, 23. Proceedings of the Geological Society, London: 1943, lxxix-lxxxi. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Canada: 1943, ???. Sarjeant, Geologists, 1980: 2, 390 & Suppl. 1 (1985), 1, 238. Science: 97 (1943), 235-6. World Who's Who in Science: 11.

1. English, 1938 [Original edition].
The Birth | And Developement | of the | Geological Sciences | By | Frank Dawson Adams | Ph.D., D.Sc., F.R.S. | Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences | Vice-Principal (Emeritus), McGill University, Montreal | [ornament] | Baltimore | The Williams & Wilkins Company | 1938.

8°: [i]-v, [1], [1]-506 p., frontispiece (portrait of Hutton), 13 plates (mostly portraits), 79 text figures. Page size: 254 x 168 mm.

Contents: [i-ii], Title page, verso copyright information.; [iii], Two quotations.; [iv], Blank.; v, "Contents."; [1 pg], Blank.; [1]-493, Text.; [494], Blank.; [495]-506, "Index."

Scarce. This famous text traces the history of the geological sciences from Greek and Roman times, through the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and up to the mid-19th century of the modern era. It is not a dry recitation of obsolete ideas but a truly fascinating account of how dozens of curious, colorful systems evolved into modern geology, and its subfields.

In his treatment of the subject, Adams discusses the work of over 300 different authorities, analyzing in detail the ideas of such researchers as William Smith, Agricola, Geikie, Hutton, Werner, Aristotle, Becher, Cuvier, Kircher, and many others. He recounts the birth of modern mineralogy, paleontology and historical geology; treats the origin of metals and their ores, mountains and earthquakes, springs and rivers; describes Becher's metallic tree at the center of the earth, Greek concepts of vulcanology, Sherley's view that metals grow from seeds, da Vinci's theory of fossils, and many other quaint stories and beliefs that delight any reader interested in geology or mineralogy.

Facsimile reprint, 1954 The Birth | And Developement | of the | Geological Sciences | By | Frank Dawson Adams | Ph.D., D.Sc., F.R.S. | Foreign Associate fo the National Academy of Sciences | Vice-Principal (Emeritus), McGill University, Montreal | ......... | New York, Dover Reprint, 1954. 8°: [4], [1]-506 p., frontispiece, 13 plates, 79 text figures. Modern photographic reprint in a reduced page size.

Bibliographical references: BL [07108.dd.32.]. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 21.