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William A. Drown
(1836-1890)

William Appleton Drown was born in Philadelphia on January 16, 1836, the son of Mary Elizabeth Pierce and William Appleton Drown, Sr., an umbrella manufacturer. He graduated from Philadelphia High School and then joined his father in business, eventually assuming control of the William A. Drown & Company Umbrella and Parasol Stick Factory (founded by Elizabeth's father, Erasmus J. Pierce, a pioneer in the business ca. 1800). The factory was prosperous for over a hundred years and the family became quite wealthy. William Jr. married Elizabeth Smith Darling in 1858; they lived on Oak Lane in Philadelphia until the 1870s, then moved to Abington in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

William was an avid collector of minerals, and built up a collection of over 6,000 specimens. Living in Philadelphia, he no doubt maintained a connection with the Academy of Natural Sciences there. He also collected bird eggs and mounted birds. When William died on December 21, 1890, his wife Elizabeth inherited his collections and kept them until her death (perhaps she had an interest in them as well). Following her death around 1917, their daughter Emily Darling Drown arranged for the collections to be acquired by the Philadelphia Academy in 1918.

William's son, Edward Darling Drown, was a florist and mineral collector as well, whose personal mineral collection also ended up at the Academy of Natural Sciences.

References:
Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia (1918).
U.S. Federal Census, 1840, 1850, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920.
BULL, J. H. (1919) Record of the Descendants of John and Elizabeth Bull. Shannon-Conmy Co., San Francisco.
ROBERTS, E. (1904) Biographical Annals, v. 2, part 17, p. 412.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Mineralogical Record
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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The Mineralogical Record - William A. Drown William A. Drown, Jr.
The Mineralogical Record - William A. Drown William Drown label, top; 44 x 70 mm. Although not printed with the collector's name, it appears to be his handwriting.
The Mineralogical Record - William A. Drown Philadelphia Academy cards measures 102 x 72 mm. Drown label measure 70 x 46 mm. Despite the "E. D. Drown" note on the Academy card, the handwriting appears to match that of William Drown. Dan Evanich Collection.
The Mineralogical Record - William A. Drown Philadelphia Academy cards measures 102 x 72 mm. Drown label measure 70 x 46 mm. The handwriting appears to match that of William Drown. Dan Evanich Collection.
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