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Bruno Böhmer
(1817-1868)

Bruno Böhmer was born in 1817, probably in Berlin, Germany. In 1845, at the age of 28, he and his junior partner, Schumann, established a dealership in minerals and other natural history specimens. (It is interesting to note that Schumann's first name is never mentioned in ads or even in the Berlin City Directory.) As of 1845 the Berlin City Directory (the Allgemeiner Wohnungsanzeiger für Berlin) refers to the mineral dealership of Böhmer and Schumann at am Kupfergraben 4a, then in 1846 at Johannisstrasse 3a. It is clear, however, that Böhmer was the senior partner; Ratzenburg's Die Naturwissenschaften (1849) mentioned that the “mineral dealer B. Böhmer in Berlin has the widest selection and reasonable prices.” Böhmer and Schumann are also mentioned in 1851 as a source of rock collections in Lenz's Gemeinnützige Naturgeschichte. And the company was referred to as the “Böhmerschen Mineralienhandlung” by Schmidd (1853).

The Verhandlungen des Naturhistorischen Vereines in 1849 mentions “Herr Böhmer und Schumann, Mineralienhändler in Berlin.” The 1853 edition of Diesterweg's “Training Guide for German Teachers” (Wegweiser zur Bildung für Deutsche Lehrer) stated:

“At the mineral dealership of Böhmer and Schumann, Johannisstrasse 3a, one can get collections of any kind at relatively cheap prices. A collection of 100 various kinds of crystal models, minerals and rocks costs 10 Thaler, a comparable collection of 150 pieces is 15 Thaler, of 200 pieces is 22 Thaler, of 300 pieces is 36 Thaler. The 150-specimen collection is perfectly adequate for elementary school and ordinary citizens school.”

Böhmer and Schumann are listed as mineral dealers in the 1859 and 1861 Berlin City Directories. Böhmer expanded his business to include pharmacy as well; he is listed in the 1859-1862 Berlin City Directories as “Apotheker und Mineralienhandler.” Böhmer und Schumann are referred to again in 1856, but the Annalen fur Physik und Chemie in 1863 carried a mention of the Mineralienhandlung Böhmer in Berlin (no mention of Schumann) as a source of minerals. The Pädagogischer jahresbericht in 1868 mentions the mineral dealership of Bruno Böhmer (finally giving us his first name) at Marienstrasse No. 23 (where he apparently moved at some time after 1853) in Berlin, for his “collections of the minerals and models of all kinds. The company has been recommended as a means of teaching by the Prussian education authorities, and has repeatedly received the first prizes in several international exhibitions.”

He is also so listed in the May 28, 1868 issue of the Berlinische Nachrichten von Staats- und gelehrten Sachen. However, Bruno Böhmer had died three days before this ad appeared, on May 25, 1868. Nevertheless, the business continued on for two more years; notices and reviews for the “Berlin Mineralienhandlung Böhmer und Schumann” published in 1869 suggest that Schumann or (more likely) Böhmer's wife had stayed on to manage the company (Hager, 1869; Lehmann, 1869).

An ad for “Die Mineralien-Handlung von Bruno Böhmer” at Louisenplatz 9 appeared in the December 4, 1870 issue of Beiblatt zum Kladderadatsch, offering small mineral collections suitable for Christmas gifts. But Böhmer's wife Emilie died in 1870 (Anonymous, 2016). The Berlin City Directory for 1871 is the last to carry a listing for the Böhmer mineral dealership (no longer with Schumann), at Luisenplatz 9; perhaps it had been ordered before Emilie's death.

In a memoir about the history of the Naturalists Society in Bamberg, Haupt (1893) mentioned that Böhmer and Schumann were the first to introduce him to the study of minerals, but that Schumann had unfortunately died from drowning in the Spree River. No year was given for that tragedy.

Address Summary:
Am Kupfergraben 4a (1845)
Johannisstrasse 3a (1846-1853)
Kleine Domstrasse 19 (1863)
Marienstrasse 23 (1868-1869)
Louisenplatz 9 (1870)
Markthalle Haus C (1873)


References:
ANONYMOUS (2016) Deutschland Tote und Beerdigungen, 1582-1958. Genealogical Society of Utah.
DIESTERWEG, F. A. W. (1853) Wegweiser zur Bildung für Deutsche Lehrer.
HAGER, H. (1869) Offene Korrespondenz. Pharmazeutische Zentralhalle für Deutschland, p. 23.
HAUPT (1893) Vermehrung des Kgl. Naturalienkabinets in Bamberg. Bericht der naturforschende Gesellschaft in Bamberg, p. 104.
LEHMANN, J. (1869) Literarischer Sprechsaal. Magazin für die Literatur des Auslandes, 67, 484.
LENZ, J. G. (1851) Gemeinnützige Naturgeschichte.
RATZENBURG, J. T. C. (1849) Die Naturwissenschaften. Nicolai'sche Buchhandlung, Berlin, p. 434.
SCHMID, E. E. (1853) Chemisch mineralogische Mittheilungen: Ueber die basaltischen Gesteine der Rhön. [Poggendorff's] Annalen der Physik und Chemie, 89, 296.

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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 - Bruno Böhmer 39 x 68 mm
The Mineralogical Record - Bruno Böhmer 40 x 83 mm
(Karlheinz Gerl collection)
The Mineralogical Record - Bruno Böhmer Part of the fossils price list from Boehmer & Schumann, ca. 1845.
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