Schuh’s Annotated Bio-Bibliography

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(1894 – 1909)

The Mineral Collector, 1894

1. English, 1894-1909 [Periodical].
The | Mineral Collector | Devoted To The Interests Of The | Collector, Student, Dealer, An Miner | Of Mineral Specimens. | [wavy rule] | Vol. 1, No. 1-March, 1894. | [wavy rule] | Contents. | ...11 lines of titles and memberships...] | [rule] | Published By | The Mineral Collector Company, | 56 Pearl St., New York.

Vol. 1, no. 1 (March, 1894)-vol. 15, no. 12 (Feb., 1909).

Very rare as issues and extremely rare in complete sets. Edited by Arthur Chamberlain and later with Albert Chapin Bates this magazine succeeded Minerals. A Monthly Magazine. Chamberlain was a collector of minerals from his boyhood days and a printer and publisher by profession. Together with several brothers he was partner in a printing establishment in New Jersey. These facts combined with his interest in sharing knowledge of minerals led Chamberlain in 1883 to become involved in his first magazine to further the hobby. The publications he fathered changed names several times and grew in size and character with each change until the Mineral Collector was founded. It lasted from March 1894 until February 1909 at which time Chamberlain wrote:

"This will be the last number of the magazine. As most of my readers know, it has not been a paying proposition, but still on account of pleasant acquaintances secured, and in some instances staunch friends made through its publication, I have been loath to discontinue it. However, years grow apace and I feel that I owe it to my health to ease up a little on my strenuousness. Almost a quarter of a century ago I started my first monthly, and I have been in harness ever since. As all the work has been done on evenings and holidays, so as not to interfere with my other work, and as I always set all the type myself, I have hardly known a leisure hour in all these years."

The Mineral Collector was faithfully published once a month for 15 years and its over 6,000 pages contain much valuable and anecdotal information that can be found no where else. It may safely be said that its publication parallels the first golden age of mineral collecting, and that its pages helped to further that remarkable period. At this time there were a large number of active collectors and the supplies of good quality specimens from all parts of the world but especially the western United States was large. These were offered for sale by several now legendary east coast dealers at modest prices to keep the enthusiasm of collectors at high intensity and there advertisements abound in the pages of this magazine. There are also reports of new finds and notes on scientific discoveries. Much is owed to Arthur Chamberlain for his remarkable magazines.

Facsimile reprint, 1980s: Lawrance H. Conklin and Jay Linnigar produced a fine reprint of the complete 15 year run of The Mineral Collector in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Albert Chapin Bates. (Born: Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A., 1857; Died: Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A., 5 May 1931) American merchant & mineralogist. Bates was a businessman who worked in the hardware business in New York City for over 50 years, but one of his interests in life was the collection of minerals, in which he made a specialization of collecting and studying quartz. His mineral collecting reminciences published in the early numbers of Rocks and Minerals are a treasure, preserving first hand accounts of the mineral collecting scene of late 19th century America. He was elected to membership in the Newark Mineralogical Society in February 6, 1916 at the fifth meeting of the society.

Arthur C. Chamberlain. (Born: New York City, New York, U.S.A., 1856; Died: c1932) American publisher & mineral collector. Chamberlain was the owner of The Chamberlain Printing Company of Jersey City, New Jersy, which operated from the 1890s to at least 1909. He was an enthusiastic mineral collector, and involved in the editing and publishing of several American magazines devoted to the hobby.

Bibliographical references: Bates, A.C., "Arthur Chamberlain and his magazines", American Mineralogist, 1, (1916), no. 1, 1-2. King, V.T., "A One Hundred and Five Year History of `The Mineral Collector'," Matrix, 7, (1999), no. 3, 117-124. (Bates) Rocks & Minerals: 6, (1931), 51 [obituary]. (Chamberlain) MRLA. Mineral Collector: 15 (1909), no. 12, 177.