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Leonard James Spencer
SPENCER, Leonard James.

SPENCER, Leonard James.
(1870 - 1959)

(Born: Worcester, England, 7 July 1870; Died: London, England, 14 April 1959) English mineralogist.

Spencer had studied chemistry at the Royal College of Science in Dublin. He thereafter attended Cambridge where in his final year he won the Harkness Scholarship for the best paper in geology of his year. His ambition had been to join the Geological Survey of India; however, no post was available. Therefore, Spencer applied for and was accepted into a vacant mineralogist position at the British Museum (Natural History) that had occurred with the death of Thomas Davies [1837-1892]. He remained with the British Museum the remainder of his working career, retiring finally in 1935. However, even in advanced age, he remained an active participant in geological and mineralogical activities. Notable among these was his adventure in 1934 at the age of 64 to investigate with P.A. Clayton the then unexplained deposit of almost pure natural silica glass in the Libyan Desert-this substance called "Libyan Glass" is now known to be of exterrestial origin. He was a longtime editor of the important mineralogical journals, Mineralogical Magazine and Mineralogical Abstracts. It is recorded that Spencer was active on his bibliographical work until a few days before his death. He was one of the best mineralogists of his generation, winning the Roebling Medal from the American Mineralogical Society in 1941 and being elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Biographical references: American Mineralogist: 45 (1960), no. 3-4, 403-06, portrait. BBA: I 1026, 423. Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Science: 7 (1961), 243-48, portrait. Cleevely, World PalŠontological Collections, 1983: 273. DSB: 12, 572-3 [by D. McKie]. Mineralogical Magazine: 32 (1959), no. 246, 181-84, portrait. Poggendorff: 4, 1419, 5, 1192 & 6, ???. Sarjeant, Geologists, 1980: 3, 2168-2169 & Suppl. 2 (1995), 2, 1098. Smith, W.C., "Memorial to Leonard James Spencer (1870-1959)", Proceedings Volume of the Geological Society of America. Annual Report for 1959, 1960, 157-8, portrait. Smith, W.C., "L.J. Spencer's work at the British Museum", Mineralogical Magazine, 29, (1950), no. 211, 256-70, portrait. Spencer, L.J., "Acceptance of the third Roebling Medal of the Mineralogical Society of America", American Mineralogist, 26, (1941), no. 3, 162-6, portrait. WBI. World Who's Who in Science: 1585.

1. English, 1911 [First edition, London issue].
The World's Minerals | By | Leonard J. Spencer, M.A., F.G.S. | Of the Mineral Department, British Museum | Editor of the Mineralogical Magazine | With Forty Coloured Plates | [ornament] | And Twenty-One Diagrams | London: 38 Soho Square, W. | W. & R. Chambers, Limited | Edinburgh: 339 High Street | 1911.

8░: [i]-x, [2], [1]-212 p., 40 color plates, 21 text illus.

Contents: [i-ii], Half title page, "The World's Minerals," verso blank.; [iii-iv], Title page, verso "Edinburgh: | Printed by W. & R. Chambers, Limited."; [v], "Preface."; [vi], Blank.; [vii]-viii, "Contents."; [ix]-x, "List Of Plates."; [1 pg], "Figures In The Text."; [1 pg], Publisher's list.; [1]-200, Text.; [201]-212, "Index."

Scarce. A good general popular treatment of mineralogy authored by the curator of the British Museum mineral collection, and notable for the 40 color plates of mineral specimens reproduced lithographically from hand painted originals.

"The text of this book on minerals is in the main descriptive of the 116 species of the more common simple minerals, which are illustrated by 163 figures on the colored-plates. Descriptions of a few other important species have been added. Technical terms are explained in the preliminary chapters; their use, however, has been avoided as far as possible, and an attempt has been made-to present in popular language an interesting and readable account of the several kinds of minerals. Points of general interest are touched upon, and attention is drawn to such of the more prominent characters as will help the student and collector of minerals to identify his own specimens. Mention is also made of the various practical applications of minerals, their importance as ores of the metals, as precious stones, etc."

"The forty colored-plates have been prepared under the supervision of Dr. Hans Lenk, Professor of Mineralogy and Geology in the University of Erlangen, and many of the pictures represent actual specimens belonging to the mineral collection under his charge." - Preface.

Bibliographical references: Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 81. NUC.

The World's Minerals, c1911

2. English, c1911 [First edition, American issue].
The World's Minerals | By | Leonard J. Spencer, M.A., F.G.S. | Of the Mineral Department, British Museum | Editor of the Mineralogical Magazine | With Forty Coloured Plates And Twenty-One | Diagrams | [ornament] | New York | Frederick A. Stokes Company | Publishers.

8░: [i]-xi, [3], [1]-272 p., 40 chromolithographic plates, 21 text illus. Page size: 196 x 128 mm.

Contents: [i-ii], Half title page, "The World's Minerals," verso blank.; [iii-iv], Title page, verso "Copyright, 1911, by | Frederick A. Stokes Company."; v-vi, "Preface."-signed L.J.S.; vii-viii, "Contents."; ix-x, "List Of Plates."; xi, "Figures In The Text."; [1 pg], Blank.; [1 pg], "The World's Minerals."; [1 pg], Blank.; 1-259, Text.; [260], Blank.; 261-272, "Index."

Scarce. This issue, printed about 1911, reprints the London original's text and plates, but this time the plates are photographically reproduced.

Bibliographical references: NUC.

3. English, 1916 [2nd edition].
The World's Minerals | By Leonard J. Spencer, M.A., F.G.S. | Of the Mineral Department, British Museum | Editor of the Mineralogical Magazine | With Forty Coloured Plates And Twenty-One | Diagrams | With An Appendix | By W.D. Hamman, B.Sc., | Author of "Practical Geology and Mineralogy" | Covering and Including Rare Minerals and Ores | of Economic and Scientific Importance, Their | Occurrence, Characteristics and Economic Use | New York | Frederick A. Stokes Company | Publishers.

8░: [i]-x, [2], [1]-327 p., 40 color plates, 21 text illus.

Contents: [i-ii], Half title page, "The World's Minerals," verso blank.; [iii-iv], Title page, verso "Copyright, 1911, 1916 by | Frederick A. Stokes Company."; v-vi, "Preface."; vii-viii, "Contents."; ix-x, "List Of Plates."; [1 pg], "Figures In The Text."; [1 pg], Blank.; [1 pg], Sectional title page, "The World's Minerals."; [1 pg], Blank.; [1]-259, Text.; [260], Blank.; [261]-312, "Appendix | Rare Minerals And Ores Of | Economic Importance."; [313], "Conclusion."; [314], Blank.; [315]-327, "Index."

Scarce. The appendix expands the text to include a discussion of the mineralogy of the rarer elements.

Bibliographical references: NUC.

The Mineral Kingdom by Dr. Reinhard Brauns ... Translated, with Additions by Leonard J. Spencer ... (London, 1912).
See under: Brauns, Reinhard Anton.

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