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Francis Alger
(1807-1863)

Boston, Massacheusetts, Collector, active 1824-1863. He was an early collector of minerals that occur at Franklin, New Jersey. Part of his mineral collection is at Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine (Canfield, 1923), and part was purchased by Allegheny College, Meadville, Pennsylvania (Gordon, 1919). Son of a wealthy manufacturing family, Alger graduated from Harvard in 1849. He entered business with his father, and took over sole control in 1856 after his father's death. He became interested in minerals early through his father, a well-known metallurgist. When he visited Nova Scotia in 1826, Alger brought back the first collection of minerals from that region to appear in the United States, and subsequently published a list of Nova Scotia minerals in the American Journal of Science. In 1827 and 1829, he returned to Nova Scotia with Charles Jackson to pursue more mineralogical investigations. He wrote about the zinc mines of Sussex County, New Jersey, and on crystallized gold from California. In 1844 he published a revision of William Phillips' well-known Elementary Treatise on Mineralogy, which is referred to today as "Alger's Phillips's Mineralogy." All of his mineralogical activities were carried out during hours not devoted to normal business pursuits.

References:
American Journal of Science: 88 (1864), 302 and 449 [obituary].
CANFIELD, F. A. (1923) The final dispositions of some American collections of minerals. GORDON, S. (1919) History of Mineralogy in Pennsylvania.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Mineralogical Record
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The Mineralogical Record - Francis Alger 25 x 82 mm
This is an exhibit label from Allegheny College; the college acquired part of Alger's collection by purchase in 1865.
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