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MIERS, Henry Alexander.

(1858 – 1942)

(Born: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 25 May 1858; Died: London, England, 10 December 1942) English mineralogist & crystallographer.

Born the son of a civil engineer, Miers won scholarships at Eton and Oxford, where he studied the classics and science. He graduated in 1881 with second-class honors in mathematics. Although he had no formal training in crystallography, within a year Miers had through short stays with N. Story-Maskelyne, W.J. Lewis and P. von Groth enough expertise in the science to apply and be accepted in a position as an assistant at the British Museum. There working under L. Fletcher he was primarily concerned with the descriptions of crystal forms. For these studies, Miers constructed an ingenious inverted goniometer for measuring crystal faces while they were growing in solution. In 1895, Miers accepted a professorship in mineralogy at Oxford. There, he continued to refine the apparatus until he and his students were able to determine the concentration of solution at the growing crystal face through the index of refraction calculated from total reflection. In 1908, Miers accepted the first of many administrative appointments that eventually pulled him away from scientific work. An adventuresome streak led him to travel extensively including visits to the Klondide, South Africa and Russia. Miers was elected F.R.S. in 1896 and knighted in 1912. Among many honors, he also awarded the Wollaston Medal by the Geological Society of London.

Biographical references: Annual Register. Barr, Index to Biographical Fragments, 1973: 177. BBA: I 766, 5-9; II 1656, 341. Cleevely, World Palæontological Collections, 1983: 203. DNB: Suppl. 1941-50, 588-90 [by H.T. Tizard]. DSB: 9, {379-80 [by William T. Holser]. ISIS, 1913-65: 2, 182. Mineralogical Magazine: 27 (1944), 17-23. Obituary Notices of the Royal Society: 12 (1943). Poggendorff: 4, 1009-10 & 5, 852-3 & 6, ???. Sarjeant, Geologists, 1980: 3, 1715-6. WBI. World Who's Who in Science: 1175-6.

1. English, 1902 [First edition].
Mineralogy | An Introduction To | The Scientific Study Of Minerals | By | Henry A. Miers | [...4 lines of titles and memberships...] | With Two Coloured Plates And 716 Illustrations In The Text | London | Macmillan And Co., Limited | New York: The Macmillan Company | 1902 | All rights reserved.

8°: [i]-xviii, [1]-584 p., 2 color plates, 716 illus. Page size: 220 x 142 mm.

Contents: [i-ii], Half title page, "Mineralogy," verso logo of The Macmillan Company.; [iii-iv], Title page, verso blank.; v-vi, "Preface."-signed Henry A. Miers.; vii-xviii, "Contents."; [1]-6, "Introduction."; [7], "Part I | The Essential Properities Of Minerals | Book I | The Crystalline Properties."; [8], Blank.; [10]-186, Text.; [187], Book II | The General Properties."; [188], Blank.; [189]-210, Text.; [211], "Book III | The Relations Between The Properties | Of Minerals."; [212], Blank.; [213]-241, Text.; [242], Blank.; [243], "Book IV | The Description And Determination Of | Minerals."; [244], Blank.; [245]-287, Text.; [288], Blank.; [289], "Part II | Description Of The More Important | Mineral Species."; [290], Blank.; [291]-534, Text.; [535]-561, "Tables | General Survey of the Mineral Kingdom."; [1 pg], Blank.; Plate I, showing blue, green and red interfernce figures of a cross section of orthoclase.; [1 pg], "Description Of Plates."; [1 pg], Blank.; Plate II, showing interference figure of the same specimen in white light.; 563-584, "Index."

Scarce. Drawing heavily upon Edward S. Dana's System of Mineralogy (6th ed., New York, 1896), this is an introductory textbook on mineralogy. For its time it contains excellent discussions of crystal optics as treated by Lazarus Fletcher in The Optical Indicatrix (London, 1892). An appendix discusses the theoretical internal structure of crystals, which was a special interest of Miers.

2nd edition, 1929: Mineralogy | An Introduction To | The Scientific Study Of Minerals | By | Sir Henry A. Miers | [...2 lines of titles and memberships...] | Second Edition | Revised By | H.L. Bowman | [...3 lines of titles and memberships...] | With 716 Illustrations In The Text | Macmillan And Co., Limited | St. Martin's Street, London | 1929. 658 p., illus.

Prepared by H.L. Bowman [??-??]. This mineralogy text covers the character and properties of minerals in two parts; Part I - Properties of Minerals - Book I Crystalline Properties of Minerals (8 chapters), Book II General Properties of Minerals (2 chapters), Book III Relations between Chemical Composition and Properties of Minerals (1 chapter), Book IV Intimate Structure of Crystals (2 chapters), Book V Description and Determination of Minerals (2 chapters); Part II - Description of the More Important Mineral Species - covering all the mineral groups in 27 sections from Section I (Elements) to Section XXVII (Tungstates, Niobates and Nitrates), profusely illustrated - 761 figures, 13 tables and index.

Bibliographical references: Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 77. NUC.

2. French, 1906 [French transl.].
Manuel Pratique | De | Minéralogie | Introduction | A | L'Etude Scientifique Des Minéraux | Par | Henry A. Miers | [...4 lines of titles and memberships...] | Traduite De L'Anglais | Par | O. Chemin | [...2 lines of titles and memberships...] | [rule] | Avec 716 figures dans le texte et 2 planches en couleurs. | [rule] | Paris et Liége | Librairie Polytechnique, Ch. Béranger, Éditeur | Successeur De Baudry Et Cie | Paris, 15, Rue Des Sants-Péres, 15 | Liége, 21, Rue De La Régence, 21 | [short rule] | 1906 | Tous droits réservés.

8°: x, 685 p., 716 illus., 2 colored plates. Page size: 245 x 160 mm. Scarce.

Bibliographical references: NUC.