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Charles G. Brewster

Boston mineral collector and dealer Charles Gilman Brewster was born December 26, 1832, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He married Mary Hill in Portsmouth in 1856, and soon became became immersed in his passion for natural history. He opened his first shop at 486 Washington Street in Boston in 1859, and eventually moved to quarters on Tremont Street. He is listed as a taxidermist at 16 Tremont Street in the 1864 Boston City Directory,, and is among the “general dealers in specimens of natural history” in the first edition of The Naturalists' Directory (1865).

By the 1877 edition of the Directory Brewster had joined forces with the mineralogist William J. Knowlton, and the two operated their "Natural History Store" from no. 18 Arch Street, Boston. They offered "Fine Minerals, Rare Shells, Birds & Animals mounted & in the skin." The partnership must have ended by 1879, when The Naturalist's Directory lists them separately, Brewster at Box 872 and Knowlton at 168 Tremont Street. In 1880, according to census records, Brewster was still in Boston and listed as a taxidermist living on Forrest Street; Brewster died on June 11 of that year, at the young age of 47.

Knowlton continued the business for some years at their Tremont Street address, and is listed in the 1880 Naturalist's Directory, wherein he declared his company to have been "established in 1859," and to be "successor to Brewster & Knowlton." He offered a "large, full and choice selection of minerals," and stated:

"I have recently added by purchase the entire stock and business belonging to the late C.G. Brewster, No. 304 Washington Street, including his private collection of Shells and Minerals. In the Department of Mineralogy I have a superior collection of choice crystallized and massive minerals, in sizes ranging from those suitable for public museums (making large, showy specimens a prominent feature) to the small specimens used for testing by the blow-pipe. Cabinets accurately labelled and arranged; also minerals determined; thorough and complete analysis being made if desired."

In the 1890 Boston City Directory Knowlton is listed as a dealer in diamonds, precious stones and minerals.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Mineralogical Record
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The Mineralogical Record - Charles G. Brewster 42 x 66 mm
pre-1877 to 1880.
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