Andrew Hartmann (two n's) appears in the 1890 Philadelphia Directory as a "mineralogist" living at 4203 Columbia Avenue. Seven years later, while living at 4515 Parrish St., Philadelphia and spelling his name with only one "n," he advertised in The Mineral Collector. His first ad (September 1897), headed "New Mineral Store," lists fine yellow wulfenites from New Mexico, azurite from Arizona, quartz crystals from Arkansas, sulfur crystal groups from Sicily, witherites from England and amethyst crystals from Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Later ads called his business "Hartman's Mineral Store." He also assembled collections, for $2 to $10, that could serve as study guides for E.S. Dana's book Minerals and How to Study Them. He supported the collector journal of the day by offering a free 25-cent specimen to all who would pay $1 for a subscription to The Mineral Collector.
In April 1898, due to "rapid increase in business and large additions to stock," Hartman announced the removal of his mineral store to more spacious quarters at 1217 Belmont Avenue in Philadelphia. Successive ads offered a wide range of tempting specimens, including red wulfenite from Pinal County, Arizona and suites of specimens from the Tilly Foster mine. He noted receiving "a large consignment of English minerals" in August 1898.
In September 1898 Hartman's ad indicated, without fanfare, that he had taken on a new partner and the company name was now "Hartman & Lewis." The partner was Thomas J. Lewis, born in January 1859 in Pennsylvania, the son of a Welsh-born coal miner of the same name. Around 1884 (at the age of 25, according to reminiscences he wrote 50 years later), he says he "was struck with the mineral bug, and so badly bitten that dear old Dr. Toothaker pronounced him hopeless and incurable." Lewis collected at the Wheatley mine, among other places, and began advertising minerals for sale under his own name in the March 1886 issue of The Exchangers' Monthly. In January 1887 he said that he had "completed arrangements to travel through the South," and therefore found it "necessary to dispose of his large stock of duplicates." He gave his address in Philadelphia as 710 N. 22nd Street.
The Hartman & Lewis partnership lasted through November, but as of December 1898 the ads show only T.J. Lewis at the same 1217 Belmont Avenue address as Hartman's store had been. Hartman is heard from no more, although Mineral Collector editor Arthur Chamberlain notes in the February 1899 issue that he has received a chain letter started by Andrew Hartman, "of whom only good is known, and is as honest a man as ever lived." Chamberlain recommends that people who receive copies of the letter should "have no fear in complying with instructions, and thus help a good cause and a good fellow along." Presumably it was a chain letter asking people to send money.
Hartman cannot be identified on the 1900 Pennsylvania census, so he may well have died by that time. The brief partnership may have been Hartman's way of grooming the younger Lewis to take over his business. In any case, Lewis then left Philadelphia and moved to Norristown, Pennsylvania in 1899, because his ad in April of that year states that "Owing to the inconvenience and loss of time traveling between Norristown and Philadelphia, I will, after April first, have the store at the former place, where I will be able to devote more time to the business. T.J. Lewis. 218 Summit Street, Norristown, PA." The 1900 Norristown census puts him at that address as well.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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