The Mineralogical Record
The Mineralogical Record - Join us on Facebook!  The Mineralogical Record - Sign up for our newsletter

George Jarvis Brush
BRUSH, George Jarvis.

BRUSH, George Jarvis.
(1831 - 1912)

(Born: Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A., 15 December 1831; Died: New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A., 6 February 1912) American mineralogist & university administrator.

Brush graduated from Yale in 1852. Having decided upon a career in mineralogy and chemistry, he traveled to Freiberg, enrolling at the Bergakademie in 1853. There he was instructed by J.F. Breithaupt, who stimulated his already intense interest in the composition of minerals. Upon his return to America, Brush was made an assistant in chemistry at the University of Virginia. However, this was followed soon after by an appointment as professor of metallurgy at Yale University, a post he held from 1855 to 1871. In 1868, he happily added the title of professor of mineralogy, an appointment he retained throughout his subsequent positions until his retirement in 1898. He became director of the Sheffield Scientific School in 1872 and as administrator showed a gift for the position. Even with his time stretched running the school, Brush still found time to teach his favorite subject of mineralogy to new pupils. Throughout his life he amassed a fine personal collection of over 15,000 mineral specimens, which was bequeathed to the Yale Peabody Museum. In 1983, the family donated a large accumulation of Brush letters and mementos to Yale University. Included in the collection are a large number of letters from important mineralogists.

Biographical references: ABA: I 205, 398-412; II 74, 67-68. American Chemists & Chemical Engineers: 2, 34-5 [by W.D. Miles]. American Journal of Science: Series 4, 33 (1912), 389-96 [by E.S. Dana]. Barr, Index to Biographical Fragments, 1973: 37. Cleevely, World Palĉontological Collections, 1983: 70. DAB: 2, pt. 1, 187-8. Elliott, Biographical Index, 1990: 31. Elliott, Biographical Dictionary, 1979: 44. Fruton, Bio-Bibliography, 1982: 102. Mineralogical Magazine: 16 (1913), 379. Penfield, S.L. and L.V. Pirsson, Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrography from the Laboratories of the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University. New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1901. [i]-xii, [1]-482 p., index, biblio. Poggendorff: 3, 208 & 4, 197 & 5, 179. Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences: 51 (1916), 853-7. Quarterly Journal of Geological Society of London: 69 (1913), liv-lv. Sarjeant, Geologists, 1980: 2, 640. Science: 35 (1912), 213, 409-11. WBI. World Who's Who in Science: 292. WWAH: 78.

Fifth Edition System Appendix

1. English, 1872 [5th edition, first appendix].
First Appendix | To The | Fifth Edition | Of | Dana's Mineralogy, | by | George J. Brush, | Professor Of Mineralogy In The Sheffield Scientific School Of Yale College. | Completing The Work To 1872. | New York: John Wiley & Sons, | 15 Astor Place. | 1872.

8°: [i]-iv, [1]-19, [1] p., illus. Page size: 232 x 145 mm.

Contents: [i-ii], Title page, verso "Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1872, by | John Wiley & Son, ..."; [iii]-iv, "Prefactory Note."; [1-19], Text.; [1 pg], Blank.

Scarce. This first appendix prepared for James Dwight Dana's System of Mineralogy (5th ed., New York, 1868) contains descriptions for eighty-seven minerals proposed as new since the publication of the that work. In addition, it contains new information about some older mineral species. Each new mineral is given a Dana number showing its place in the system.

Bibliographical references: NUC.

2. English, 1873 [5th edition, first appendix].
Appendix | To The | Fifth Edition | Of | Dana's Mineralogy, | By | George J. Brush, | Professor Of Mineralogy In The Sheffield Scientific School Of Yale College. | [rule] | New York: |John Wiley & Son, | 15 Astor Place. | 1873.

8°: [i]-iv, [1]-18 p. Page size: 232 x 143 mm.

Contents: [i-ii], Title page, verso "Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1872, by | John Wiley & Son, | ..."; [iii]-iv, "Prefactory Note."; [1]-18, Text.

Scarce. A reset iissue of the first appendix to the fifth edition of Dana's System (New York, 1868) which has kept the four preliminary pages unaltered, but has reset the text to now exist in 18 pages instead of the original 19 by the elimination of all illustrations. This particular issue of the appendix appears to only exist bound up with the 1874 London issue of Dana's fifth edition.

3. English, 1875 [First edition].
Manual | Of | Determinative Mineralogy | With An Introduction | On | Blow-Pipe Analysis. | By | George J. Brush, | Professor Of Mineralogy In The Sheffield School. | [ornate rule] | New York: | John Wiley & Son, | 15 Astor Place. | 1875.

8°: [i]-iv, [2] contents, [1]-104 p., pages 63 to 96 are printed as folding double-leaf tables, 25 illus., index. Page size: 222 x 136 mm.

Contents: [i-ii], Title page, verso "Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1874, by | Geo. J. Brush, | ..."; [iii]-iv, "Preface."-dated 15 December 1874.; [2 pgs], "Table Of Contents."; [1]-12, "I. Apparatus and Reagents."; [13]-32, "II. Systematic Course of Blowpipe Analysis."; [33]-56, "III. Alphabetical List of Elements and Compounds with Characteristic Blowpipe and other Reactions."; [57]-96, "IV. Determinative Mineral," containing "Tables for the Determination of Mineral Spe- | cies by Means of simple chemical experi- | ments in the wet and dry way. | Translated fro the tenth edition of Franz von Kobell's "Tafeln zur Bestimmung der Mineralien."; [97]-104, "Index To Minerals | in | Chapter IV."

Scarce. This is one of the best textbooks on the subject of determinative mineralogy using the blow-pipe. It was intended, in accordance with an original plan between James Dwight Dana and Brush to be the Determinative Part of Dana's System of Mineralogy (5th ed., New York, 1868), for which Brush had contributed the pyrognostic material. Certainly, from its first issue it is was the mostly widely used text on the subject within American universities and colleges. The author calls this work a compilation based on the tenth edition of Von Kobell's Tafeln zur Bestimmung der Mineralien (München, 1873). While this is true, Brush also added extensively from his own vast experience of blow-pipe reactions in minerals. Moreover, in inspired innovation, the species, with their blowpipe characters, are arranged in a series of extended tables, which when used properly lead the student to the name of the mineral that was being examined based upon the reactions observed. These tables include all species known to the time of publication.

Bibliographical references: American Journal of Science: 3rd Series, 9 (1875), 153. Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 68. NUC: 81, 141-3 [NB 0896953 & NB 0896969].

4. English, 1898 [15th edition].
Manual | Of | Determinative Mineralogy. | With An Introduction On | Blowpipe Analysis. | By George J. Brush, | Director of the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University. | Revised And Enlarged, With Entirely New Tables | For The Identification Of Minerals. | By | Samuel L. Penfield, | Professor of Mineralogy in the Sheffield Scientific School | of Yale University. | Fifteenth Edition. | First Thousand. | New York: | John Wiley & Sons. | London: Chapman & Hall, Limited. | 1898.

8°: [i]-x, [1]-312 p., illus., tables.

Scarce. Co-authored with Samuel L. Penfield. Although the title page proclaims this the fifteenth edition, it is in fact a major revision to Brush's original work. The consequence being this is the finest textbook on the use of the blow-pipe ever written in the English language.

Bibliographical references: Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 68.

Contents copyright © 2017 The Mineralogical Record, Inc. All rights reserved.  
Graphic design of this website by Wendell E. Wilson. Website programming by