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George W. Gehman
(1871-1961)

George W. Gehman of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania was born in Reading, Pennsylvania in May of 1871, the son of a shoemaker, William H. Gehman (b.1841). He is shown as a draftsman (unmarried) on the 1900 Reading, Pennsylvania census. He married a woman named Annie in 1910 and together they had three children (Evelyn, Natalie and Chester). In 1920 he was employed as a draftsman for the Bethlehem Steel company in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and in 1930 as a draftsman for a foundry (probably the same company) in Bethlehem. Later he worked as a drsftsman for the Treadwell Engineering Company in Easton, Pennsylvania until his retirement in 1947.

George Gehman was referred to in his obituary as "the dean of eastern Pennsylvania mineral collectors." In 1914 he made a historic discovery of rare thorianite and thorium-rich uraninite in the Williams Quarry near Easton, Pennsylvania. He also collected at Haddam, Connecticut; Franklin, New Jersey and Paterson, New Jersey. He meticulously identified all of his specimens by wet chemical analysis. Gehman became a friend and trading partner of Peter Zodac in 1925 and was influential in getting Zodac to begin publishing Rocks & Minerals in 1926. He first advertised in the December 1929 issue of Rocks & Minerals, looking to exchange for "Eastern Pennsylvania minerals not in my collection." He gave his address as 248 Wall Street. In June 1936 he published an article in Rocks & Minerals on "Some minerals in the Serpentine Range near Easton, Pennsylvania."

In 1955 Gehman turned his fine mineral collection over to Lafayette College (part gift and part purchase). Arthur Montgomery of Lafayette considered the Gehman collection to be "scientifically priceless" because of the large suite of uranium-thorium minerals. George Gehman died February 5, 1961, at the age of 89, at his home in Oxford, New Jersey.

References:
BERTRAND, J.H. (1961) In memoriam: George W. Gehman. Rocks & Minerals,, 36, 268.
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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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