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Heinz W. Eckert
(1902-1970s)

Heinz-Werner Eckert was born in Leipzig, Germany in 1902 and probably attended the Freiberg Mining Academy (in later years he referred to himself as "Dr."). He worked his way to America in December of 1923, at the age of 22, by signing on as a sailor aboard a German steamship, the S.S. Hansa. In 1928 he listed his occupation on a passenger manifest as "Department Manager," and his residence as Philadelphia. He became a naturalized U.S. Citizen in St. Louis in 1930 and continued on west, settling in Colorado where he apparently worked as a geologist.

Eckert was an avid mineral collector and mineral dealer, and co-founded Brown Mineral Research on U.S. 50 in Florence, Colorado in 1946. Their August 1946 ad in Rocks & Minerals stated: "Minerals for the Collector, Student, Laboratory, Industry. The Well-Known Prospector-Collection of 50 Minerals ¾ inch plus—Price $4.00. Museum specimens specially priced. We are actively in the field daily—Contact us for famous Colorado specimens—All samples collected by our geologists."

In May 1948 Eckert announced that "H. W. Eckert, main partner of the former Brown Mineral Research, has taken over the entire business and is operating now under the name of Eckert Mineral Research" at 112 East Main Street in Florence, Colorado. In May 1949 he moved nextdoor, to 110 E. Main Street. His June 1949 ad in Lapidary Journal offered "individual specimens, reasonably priced, and complete mineral collections from 50 boxed ores at $4.00 to museum collections of 550 3x4" superb specimens for $2,000." In 1950 he published Mineralogy Handbook; Introduction to Geology for the Layman, a 24-page booklet for 50 cents.

Eckert periodically traveled to Europe to purchase specimens, as indicated in a passenger manifest dated November 11, 1952; Eckert was returning from Germany on the S.S. America out of Bremmerhaven with eighteen pieces of "baggage." His European trips often lasted for three or four months.

In November 1963 Eckert announced his move to 1244 East Colfax Avenue in Denver, Colorado. He advertised only infrequently. By 1964 he had taken on a young protege, Benjy Kuehling, as a junior partner and told Paul Desautels that he was training Benjy "for bigger and better things to come." (Kuehling later opened his own business, the Columbine Mineral Shop.) Around 1965 the IRS shut Eckert down and padlocked his store for failure to pay back taxes (Benjy Kuehling remembers this, because he was working for him at the time). Eckert then changed his company name to Educational Mineral Research, and by July 1967 he had changed the name again to Eckert Educational Minerals, still at the same address. He purchased the remaining specimen inventory of Merle Reid and George Robertson's in 1968, and changed his company name once again, to "Colorado Geological Industries."

The last ad for Eckert Educational Minerals appeared in May 1968, and Colorado Geological Industries, Inc., began advertising from the same address in March 1968, and continued until at least April 1973. Eckert is thought to have died in the mid to late 1970s, but no record can be found; it is possible that he returned to Germany and died there.

References:
New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957.
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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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Number of labels found: 10 | Labels being viewed: 9 to 10

The Mineralogical Record - Heinz W. Eckert 51 x 82 mm, Colorado Geological Industries
The Mineralogical Record - Heinz W. Eckert 49 x 80 mm,
Label from Heinz Eckert's personal collection
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