Schuh’s Annotated Bio-Bibliography

Return to main Biobliography page

ENGLISH, George Letchworth.

(1864 – 1944)

(Born: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., 14 June 1864; Died: Rochester, New York, U.S.A., 1944) American mineralogist & mineral dealer.

In 1881, English graduated from the Friends' Central School in Philadelphia. Having attended the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, he had become interested in minerals. In 1887, he opened a mineral establishment and worked as an independent mineral dealer until 1903. Due to his expertise in the mineral monzanite, English was offered a position with the Natural Light and Thorium Company, where he worked from 1903 to 1913. From 1913 to 1934, he was mineralogist for Ward's Natural Science Establishment in Rochester, N.Y. For the last decade of his life, he worked as a consulting mineralogist. English held memberships in the New York Mineral Club, the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, Rochester Academy (president, 1919-21), and the Brooklyn Institute. He discovered the minerals penfieldite, graftonite, pyroxmangite and skemmatite, and the mineral species "Englishite" is named in his honor.

Biographical references: ABA: I 507, 436-439. American Men of Science, 6th edition (1938). American Mineralogist: 30 (1945), nos. 3-4, 130-34, portrait. Herringshaw's National Library of American Biography. Mineralogical Magazine: 28 (1948), no. 199, 190. Sarjeant, Geologists, 1980: 2, 961-2. WBI. Who Was Who in America.

Catalogue of Minerals, 1888

1. English, 1888 [First edition].
Geo. L. English. [white space] Edwin C. Atkinson. | Catalogue | Of | * Minerals * | For Sale By | Geo. L. English & Co., | 1512 Chestnut Street, | Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.A. | Cable Address: | English, Philadelphia. | [rule] | First Edition. | [rule] | January, 1888.

8°: [2], [1]-24, [2] p. Page size: 234 x 150 mm.

Contents: [1 pg], Front over of printed wrap, "[inside an ornate box] Catalogue | Of | [on slant] Minerals, | Geo. L. English & Co., | 1512 Chestnut Street, | Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.A. | [rule] | First Edition. | [rule] | January, 1888."; [1 pg], "Contents."; [1-2], Title page, verso blank.; [3], References, by Permission."; [4], Blank.; [5], "Introduction."; 6-24, Text.; [1 pg], Inside back cover.; [1 pg], Back cover [blank].

Very scarce. The first catalogue issued by this famous mineral dealing firm. It covers minerals for technical and commercial purposes, systematic collections, collections illustrating blowpipe analysis, hardness, microscopic study and fusibility. Also included are price lists for cabinet specimens, and specimens for Franklin, New Jersey, Colorado, Amelia Co., Virginia, Canada, North Carolina, Arizona, New Mexico, California and Europe.

2nd to 14th Editions: Descriptions of the subsequent separate editions of the Catalogues are listed below. However, the second through the fourteenth edition apparently were not published separately. Instead, between 1888 and 1890, English paid for their inclusion into issues of the rare mineralogical periodical, The Exchangers Monthly. They were published at the end of the issue, and sometimes, these lists would account for more than half of the total pages of each issue. Every catalog was introduced with a title similar to, "Geo. L. English & Co.'s Catalogue." No doubt this financial boon to the magazine helped the editor Arthur Chamberlain to keep the venture alive.

George L. English & Co. American mineral dealing firm. Founded in 1887 in Philadelphia by George English in partnership with a fellow Philadelphia mineral collector Edwin C. Atkinson. They had their shop at 1512 Chester Street, issuing their first catalog in 1888. By 1890, Geo. English & Co. had merged with the New York mineral dealer William Niven [1850-1937] to form perhaps the greatest mineral dealing firm of the time. The New York store address was 739 and 741 Broadway, however, by 1891, they had moved a few numbers down and had their shop at 733 and 735 Broadway. In 1892, English assumed sole control of the business, moving to new premises located at 64th East 12th Street in New York about 1893. Geo. English & Co. appears to have remained located at this last address until the stock was sold to Ward's Natural History Establishment of Rochester, New York in 1903. English appears to have continued actively dealing minerals, however, in 1905 he is listed as a dealer in minerals at 3 and 5 West 18th Street, New York. As a side note, Atkinson is listed in Philadelphia with a mineral collection as late as 1905.

Bibliographical references: NUC. (George L. English & Co) Bentley, R.E., "Historical Record: George English," Mineralogical Record, 10 (1979), 243-5, illus. Naturalists' Directory: 1890-1905.

Catalogue of Minerals, 1890

2. English, 1890 [15th edition].
[On the upper left hand side of title page, braced on the right hand side by a ":"}] George L. English | Edwin C. Atkinson, | } Philadelphia | [On the upper right hand side of title page:] William Niven, | New York. | Catalogue | of | Minerals | For Sale By | Geo. L. English & Co. | [rule] | 1512 Chestnut Street, | Philadelphia; | 739 And 741 Broadway, | New York. | [rule] | Cable Address: English, Philadelphia. | [rule] | Fifteenth Edition. | June, 1890.

8°: [1]-100 p., frontispiece (xl drawings of Beryllonite from Stoneham, Maine), 57 text illus. Page size: 230 x 147 mm.

Contents: [1-2], Title page, verso "Copyright, 1890, | By | Geo. L. English & Co."; [3], "Introduction."; 4, "References by Permission."; [5], "Location of Our Stores. | ..."; 6-7, "Mineralogical Sundries."; 8-9, "Books on Mineralogy."; 10, "Goniometers."; 11-13, "...Systematic Collections."; 14-16, "Minerals for Blowpipe Analysis."; 17, "Microscopic Mounts of Minerals."; 18-58, Long descriptions of new minerals and/or occurances.; 59-89, "Classified List of Mineral Species."; 90-100, "Index."

Very scarce. From the Introduction: "Mineralogy has kept pace with allied sciences in the advances of the past ten or twenty years. The very great increase in the demand for mineral specimens, and the general centering of the business in the United States upon our house, have created a demand for a more elaborate catalogue of our stock, which we have endeavored in our present issue to satisfy."

"It is our earnest desire to have an unsullied reputation for integrity and justice, as we believe that upon no other basis can a permanent business be built up. The attention of parties who do not know of our standing is respectfully called to the list (on the following page) of distinguished mineralogists who kindly permit us to use their names for reference."

"The liberal support given us in the past has eneouraged us to very materially increase our stock as well as our facilities for promptly filling the large orders entrusted to us. At the present time we have no hesitation in claiming that our stock is the largest, finest, most complete in species, and in every way the best, in the United States. The recent consolidation of the houses of George L. English & Co., of Philadelphia, and William Niven, of New York, into a new firm to be known as George L. English & Co., is already being recognized as a move to place the mineral buisness in the United States on the highest plane. It will be the constant aim of the new firm to keep no poor material, and while our efforts to secure the choicest of everything often compel us to buy at much higher prices than are commonly asked, an examination of our catalogue will show that our prices are almost invariably as low as or lower than those of other dealers, while the superiority of our material cannot fail to be noticed. This is because we study carefully the needs of all classes of our customers, confine our business wholly to mineralogy, and secure our material direct, personally, or by experienced assistants, visiting the localities and purchasing desirable material in large quantities."

Bibliographical references: NUC: 160, 329 [NE 0130561].

3. English, 1891 [15th edition, supplement].
George L. English Edwin C. Atkinson William Niven | Supplement A | To | Catalogue Of Minerals | For Sale By | Geo. L. English & Co. | [rule] | 733 and 735 Broadway, | New York. | [rule] | Cable Address: Quatorze, New York. | [rule] | September, 1891.

8°: [1]-20 p., illus. In paper wraps. Page size: 228 x 145 mm

Contents: [1], Title page.; [2], "Copyright 1891, | By | Geo. L. English & Co."; [3]-19, Text.; 20, "New Mineral Species."

Very scarce. The first supplement to the 15th edition of the author's Catalogue of Minerals (Philadelphia & New York, 1890). It gives a list of new species, with republished notes on various old species, especially of American source.

Bibliographical references: American Journal of Science: 3rd Series, 42 (1891), 438. NUC: 160, 329 [NE 0130561].

4. English, 1894 [16th edition].
Catalogue | Of | Minerals | And | Mineralogical Supplies. | [rule] | Geo. L. English & Co., | 64 East Twelfth Street, | New York City. | [ornate rule] | Cable Address: Quatorze, NewYork. [!] | [rule] | Copyright, 1894, | By Geo. L. English & Co. | [rule] | Sixteenth Edition. | June, 1894.

8°: [1]-124 p., frontispiece, illus. In paper wraps. Page size: 230 x 144 mm.

Contents: [1], Title page.; [2], "Contents."; [3], "Preface."; 4, "References by Permission."; 5-123, Text.; 124, "List Of Elements."

Very scarce. This catalogue is more than an illustrated price list of minerals. The classified list, with its alphabetical index, presents in classified order the names of all the minerals and their varieties described in Edward S. Dana's System of Mineralogy (New York, 1892). Included are notes about the chemical formula, hardness and specific gravity for each mineral named.

Bibliographical references: NUC.

5. English, 1894 [16th edition, price list].
Price-Lists | Of | Minerals | And | Mineralogical Supplies, | For Sale By | Geo. L. English & Co., | 64 East Twelfth Street, | New York. | [ornament] | Cable Address: Quatorze, NewYork. | [rule] | Copyright, 1894, | By Geo. L. English & Co. | [short rule] | Sixteenth Edition. | June, 1894.

8°: [1]-44 p., 57 text illus. Printed wraps. Page size: 234 x 150 mm.

Contents: [1], Title page.; [2], "Contents."; [3], "Preface."; 4, "References by Permission."; 5-44, Text.

Very scarce. A separately published price list to the 16th edition of the author's Catalogue of Minerals (Philadelphia, 1894). "Every one of the following pages contains fresh matter, the illustrations are new throughout, and a complete revision of all our systematic collections has been made, bringing them up to date in every way."-Preface.

Bibliographical references: American Journal of Science: 3rd Series, 48 (1894), 511. NUC: 160, 329 [NE 0130560 & NE 0130562].

6. English, 1934.
Getting acquainted with minerals, by George Letchworth English; with 258 illustrations. First edition. New York, McGraw-Hill, [c1934].

8°: xi, 324 p. incl. front., illus., diagrs.

Very scarce. "Special emphasis is laid on the occurrence of minerals in the United States."-Preface.

Another issue: Getting acquainted with minerals by George Letchworth English, with 258 illustrations. Rochester, N.Y., Mineralogical publishing company [1934]. xi, 324 p. incl. front., illus., diagrs.

Second edition, 1954: Getting acquainted with minerals by George Letchworth English and David E. Jensen. Revised edition. New York, McGraw-Hill [1958]. 362 p., illus.

7. English, 1939.
Descriptive list of the new minerals, 1892-1938, containing all new mineral names not mentioned in Dana's System of mineralogy, sixth edition, 1892. Compiled by George Letchworth English ... First edition. New York, London, McGraw-Hill Book Company, inc., 1939.

8°: vii, 258 p. Very scarce.