Isaac W. Drummond
Isaac Wyman Drummond was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts in June 1855, the son of Sarah and James Drummond, the superintendant of a paint factory (1860) and later an importer (1880). He graduated from the School of Mines at Columbia University in 1878 as a chemist and geologist, with a degree in Mining Engineering; he received his PhD in Chemistry there in 1879, and worked as a chemist for the F.W. Devoe and C.T. Raynold Paint Companies, becoming President and a partner in the Raynolds Company.
Drummond was a voracious collector of many different things, from Japanese art swords to Chinese snuff bottles, rare antiques and paintings, archeological artifacts (especially jade), and minerals. The prominent mineral dealer Martin Ehrmann (1904-1972) was one of his sources for jade and mineral specimens. Drummond was a member of the New York Mineralogical Club, and in December 1928 he hosted a meeting of the club in his home, addressing the club on the subject of "Jade and Amber." Attendees toured his remarkable collections, including specimens of "water geodes," tourmaline and beryl.
A fire swept through Drummond's summer residence in 1922, destroying many valuable paintings, furniture, jewelry and antiques (and minerals?). This hardly seemed to slow down his collecting activities, though.
Drummond never married, and always lived with a couple of servants. The paint business had made him wealthy, and by the time of the 1930 census (when he was 74), he listed the value of his house at $60,000, an enormous sum during the Depression, equivalent to several million dollars today. He was on numerous boards, and was a regular supporter of the arts. Following his death in 1933 he bequeathed much of his collection of minerals to Columbia University, and other specimens (including jade and amber artifacts) to the American Museum of Natural History in New York in 1934; other jade objects he donated to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.
ANON. (1922) Fire wrecks home of Dr. Drummond. New York Times, October 24, p. 4.
BLANK, H.E. (1929) Proceedings of Societies; New York Mineralogical Club; Minutes of December Meeting. American Mineralogist, 14, p.117.
ANON. (1899) Catalogue of the Alpha Delta Phi. p. 499.
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Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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