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Lewis Caleb Beck
BECK, Lewis Caleb.

BECK, Lewis Caleb.
(1798 - 1853)

(Born: Schenectady, New York, U.S.A., 4 October 1798; Died: Albany, New York, U.S.A., 20 April 1853) American physician, naturalist & chemist.

Brother of the physicians John B. Beck [1794-1851] and Theodric R. Beck [1791-1855], Lewis Beck graduated from Rutgers College in 1817. In 1830, he was appointed a professor of chemistry at Rutgers. In 1836, Beck became the mineralogist for the geological survey of New York. In 1840, he was named professor of chemistry at Albany Medical College. He authored many works on botany, chemistry and food adulteration.

Biographical references: ABA: I 95, 140-168, 247-248; II 37, 429-430, 454. American Chemists & Chemical Engineers: 1, 26-7 [by W.D. Miles]. American Journal of Science: 2nd Series, 66 (1853), 149-50. Barr, Index to Biographical Fragments, 1973: 18. Cleevely, World PalŠontological Collections, 1983: 51. DAB: 2, 116 [by L.F. Kebler]. Drake, Dictionary of American Biography, 1872: 76. Elliott, Biographical Index, 1990: 18. Elliott, Biographical Dictionary, 1979: 28. Fruton, Bio-Bibliography, 1982: 46. Herringshaw's National Library of American Biography. ISIS, 1913-65: 1, 122. Kebler, L.F., "A pioneer in pure foods and drugs-Lewis C. Beck", Industrial Engineering and Chemistry, 16, (1924), 968-70. Kelley & Burrage, American Medical Biography, 1928: 86. National Cyclopedia of American Biography: 2, 538-40. NY Academy Portrait Catalog: 1 [one portrait listed]. Poggendorff: 1, cols. 125-6 & 1534. Popular Science Monthly: 73 (1908), 488-99. Thomas, Dictionary of Biography, 1884: 306. Transactions of the Medical Society, Albany, NY (Albany Medical Annals): 1 (1864), 292-302 [by C.E. Van Cortlandt]. WBI. World Who's Who in Science: 138. WWAH: 45.

1. English, 1842.
Mineralogy | Of | New-York; | Comprising Detailed Descriptions Of The Minerals Hitherto Found In The State Of | New-York, And Notices Of Their Uses In The Arts And Agriculture. | [short rule] | By Lewis C. Beck, M.D. | Professor of Chemistry and Natural History in Rutgers College, New-Jersey. | [short rule] | Albany: | Printed By W. & A. White & J. Visscher. | [short rule] | 1842.

4░: [A]3 B4 C2 D4 1-774 ($1 signed); 285l.; [2], [i]-xxiv, [2], [1]-536, [4] p., 8 plates. Page size: 300 x 250 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs], Series title page, "Natural History | Of | New York," verso blank.; [i-ii], Title page, verso blank.; [iii], Copyright notice, signed Samuel Young, 1842.; [iv], Blank.; [v], Dedication to William H. Seward, signed Lewis C. Beck, November 1, 1842.; [vi], Blank.; [vii]-xiii, "Preface."; [xiv], Blank.; [xv]-xvii, "List of the Principal Works Referred To In This Volume."; [xviii], Blank.; [xix]-xxiv, "Contents."; [1 pg], "Part I. Economical Mineralogy."; [1 pg], Blank.; [1]-167, Text.; [168], Blank.; [169], "Part II. Descriptive Mineralogy."; [170], Blank.; [171]-445, Text.; [446], Blank.; [447]-457, "Catalogue of American Minerals, not hitherto found in the state of New-York; with short descriptions, localities, &c."; [458], Blank.; [459], "Tables of Crystalline Forms."; [460]-525, "Tables of the Crystalline Forms Introduced into the Descriptive Part of This Work."; [526], Blank.; [527]-536, "Index."; [1 pg], "Errata."; [1 pg], Blank.; [1 pg], "Explanation Of Additional Plates."; [1 pg], Blank.; [At end], 8 plates.

Scarce. One of the earliest systematic description of minerals of New York (the first being Webster, Catalogue of the Minerals, 1824), published as the third volume of a general natural history of the state. It is rich in locality information, with an extensive bibliography, an extensive examination of economic mineral deposits (iron, sulfide, copper ores, etc.) and a very detailed descriptive mineralogy (pp. 171-525), of which pages 459-525 are plates of crystal drawings.

Facsimile reprint, 1987: Special Publication #2 of the Rochester Mineralogical Symposium, 1987. No new material was added to this reprint.

Bibliographical references: BMC: 1, 119. Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 66. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 159.

Catalogue, 1853

2. English, 1853 [Collection catalog].
Catalogue | of the | Cabinet Of Natural History | Of The State Of New-York, | and of the | Historical and Antiquarian Collection | annexed thereto. | [wavy rule] | Printed by Order of the Regents of the University. | [wavy rule] | Albany: | C. Van Benthysen, Printer To The Legislature. | 1853.

4░: [1]-34, [2], [1]-61, [1], [1]-22, [1]-53, [1], [1]-31, [1], [1]-28, [1]-22 p. (=251 p., in various pagings).

Contents: [1-2], Title page, verso blank.; [3], "Regents of the University, 1853."; [4], Blank.; [5], "Memorandum."; [6], Blank.; [7], "Table of Contents."; [8], Blank.; [9], Sectional title page, Zoology of New-York.; [10], Blank.; [11]-34, Text of zoology.; [1 pg], Sectional title page, Fishes of New-York.; [1 pg], Blank.; [1], Sectional title page, Botany of New-York.; [2], Blank.; [3]-61, Text of botany.; [1 pg], Blank.; [1], Sectional title page, Mineralogy of New-York.; [2], Blank.; [3]-22, Text of mineralogy.; [1], Sectional title page, Geology of New-York.; [2], Blank.; [3]-53, Text of geology.; [1 pg], Blank.; [1], Sectional title page, Palaeontology of New-York.; [2], Blank.; [3]-31, Text of palaeontology.; [1 pg], Blank.; [1], Sectional title page, Historical and Antiquarian Collections.; [2], Blank.; [3]-28, Text.; [1], Sectional title page, Collection of the late H. Casimir De Rham, Jr.; [2], Blank.; [3]-22, Catalog of the collection, consisting of birds, mammals, fossils and shells.

Very scarce. Supplement to the Natural History of New-York, this set of texts catalogs various specimens discovered and depostited at the University in Albany during the various expeditions. The contents of the volume are as follows: Zoology, by J. E. DeKay. - Botany, by J. Torrey. - Mineralogy, by L. C. Beck. - Geology, by W. W. Mather, E. Emmons, L. Vanuxem and J. Hall. - Paleontology, by J. Hall. - Historical and antiquarian collection. - Collection of the late H. C. DeRham, jr.

The mineralogical collection catalog was prepared by Beck in 1848, and includes on the last page a list of species found in the state since the publication of his Mineralogy of New-York (Albany, 1848).

Bibliographical references: BMC: 1, 119.

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