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Clarence S. Bement
(1843-1923)

Clarence Sweet Bement was one of the greatest American mineral collectors of all time. He was born in Mishewaka, Indiana on April 11, 1843, and was an inveterate collector from an early age. He collected rare coins and books, but minerals were his abiding passion, and he always sought to obtain the very highest quality. His father, William Barnes Bement, had founded an extremely successful manufacturing firm in Philadelphia and made Clarence a partner in 1870, so money was always available for satisfying his high level of taste in specimens.

From around 1866 to 1900 Bement assembled one of the finest private collections of his or any other era, primarily by buying from the leading dealers of his day (including Bryce Wright, James Gregory and Samuel Henson in England, Emile Bertrand in Paris, August Krantz in Bonn, Bohm & Wiedemann in Munich, and A. E. Foote, Henry Ward, Lazard Cahn, George Kunz and George L. English in America). During the late 1800's he spent more than $100,000 on minerals. In 1900 Bement sold this fabulous collection to the wealthy financier J. P. Morgan, who presented it to the American Museum of Natural History. The collection was so large, 12,500 specimens, that two railroad boxcars were needed to transport it from Philadelphia to New York. Bement died on January 27, 1923. He was inducted into the Micromounters Hall of Fame in 1987.

Reference:
PETERS, J. J., and PEARSON, C. L. (1990) Clarence S. Bement, the consummate collector. Mineralogical Record, 21, 47-62.
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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 - Clarence S. Bement Clarence S. Bement
(1843-1923)
The Mineralogical Record - Clarence S. Bement 44 x 60 mm,
One of Bement's modest, handwritten mineral labels.
The Mineralogical Record - Clarence S. Bement 17 x 28 mm,
A small gummed label designed to be attached to micromount specimen boxes. Bement had acquired a micromount collection from Rev. George Rakestraw in 1897.
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