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George Perkins Merrill
MERRILL, George Perkins.

MERRILL, George Perkins.
(1854 - 1929)

(Born: Auburn, Maine, U.S.A., 31 May 1854; Died: Auburn, Maine, U.S.A., 15 August 1929) American geologist & meteorite expert.

In 1879, after graduating from the University of Maine, Merrill became curator of mineralogy at the US National Museum (Smithsonian). In 1897, he was appointed head curator of the division of geology, a post he held until his death. He was remarkable in gathering together material on a large scale and displaying it effectively. This was especially true of the economic minerals collection. Because of his interest in meteorites, he succeeded in building the collection into one of the world's greatest repositories.

Biographical references: ABA: I 1104, 319-324; II 410, 190-192. Adams, Dictionary of American Authors, 1904: 254. American Journal of Science: 5th Series, 215 (1929), 122-3 [by M. Benjamin]. Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution: 1930, 617-34, portait [by C. Schuchert]. Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Science: 17 (1935), 31-53 [by W. Lindgren]. Bulletin of the Geological Society of America: 42 (1931), 95-122. DAB: 6, pt. 2, 559-60. DSB: 9, 314-6 [by K.F. Mather]. Herringshaw's National Library of American Biography. ISIS, 1913-65: 2, 174-5. Lambrecht & Quenstedt, Catalogus, 1938: 291. Mineralogical Magazine: ?? (19??), 399-400 [by L.J. Spencer]. National Cyclopedia of American Biography: 8, 35. Poggendorff: 5, 836. Sarjeant, Geologists, 1980: 3, 1706-7. Science: 70 (1929), 122-3 & 274-5. WBI. World Who's Who in Science: 1165.

1. English, 1901.
Smithsonian Institution. | United States National Museum. | [short rule] | Guide To The Study Of The Collections | In The Section Of Applied | Geology. | The Nonmetallic Minerals. | By | George P. Merrill, | [...2 lines of titles and memberships...] | [short rule] | From the Report of the U.S. National Museum for 1899, pages 155-483, | with thirty plates. | [short rule] | Washington: | Goverment Printing Office. | 1901.

8: pp. 155-483. Published in Report of the U.S. National Museum for 1899. Very scarce.

Bibliographical references: NUC.

2. English, 1905-7.
Catalogue of the type and figured specimens of fossils, minerals, rocks, and ores. Washington, Government Printing Office, 1905-7.

2 parts. [Part 1: 1905] 8: 704 p. [Part 2: 1907] 8: 370 p. Published as Bulletin, U.S. National Museum, 53, pts. 1-2. "Literature on type terms, " part 1, p. 17-18.

Very scarce. In two parts the first published in 1905 is a "Catalogue of the type specimens of fossil invertebrates in the Department of geology, United States National Museum," by Charles Schuchert, assisted by W. H. Dall, T. W. Stanton, and R. S. Bassler. The second paart is a listing of the "Fossil vertebrates; fossil plants; minerals, rocks, and ores."

Bibliographical references: NUC.

3. English, 1905 [First edition].
The | Non-Metallic Minerals. | Their Occurrence And Uses. | By | George P. Merrill, | [...4 lines of title and memberships...] | First Edition. | First Thousand. | New York: | John Wiley & Sons. | London: Chapman & Hall, Limited. | 1905.

8: 414, 16 p. Very scarce.

2nd edition, 1910: The Non-Metallic Minerals. New York, John Wiley & Sons, 1910.

Bibliographical references: Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 77. NUC.

4. English, 1916.
Smithsonian Institution | United States National Museum | Bulletin 94 | [short rule] | Handbook And Descriptive Catalogue Of | The Meteorite Collections In The | United States National Museum | By | George P. Merrill, | Head Curator of Geology, United States National Museum | [ornament] | Washington | Goverment Printing Office | 1916.

8: 205 p. Published as: Smithsonian Institution, United States National Museum, Bulletin 94. Very scarce.

Bibliographical references: NUC.

5. English, 1920.
Smithsonian Institution | United States National Museum | Bulletin 109 | [short rule] | Contributions To A History | Of American State Geological And | Natural History Surveys | Edited And Compiled By | George P. Merrill, | Head Curator of Geology, United States National Museum | [ornament] | Washington | Goverment Printing Office | 1920.

8: [i]-xviii, [1]-549, [1] p., 37 plates (portaits). Page size: 240 x 150 mm.

Contents: [i-ii], Title page, verso "Advertisement."; iii-v, "Preface."; [vi], Blank.; vii-xv, "Table Of Contents."; [xvi], Blank.; xvii-xviii, "List Of Portraits."; 1-544, Text.; 545-549, "Index."; [1 pg], Blank.

Scarce. Provides the story of each of the 37 state survey's conducted in the United States up to the time of this 1920 publication. The text provides well documented histories, including excerpts from original letters. Portaits of the principal workers in these surveys enhance the value of the work.

Related work, 1988: The State Geological Surveys. A history. Arthur A. Socolow, editor. [New York?], Association of American State Geologists, 1988. [6], [1]-499, [1] p., illus. (numerous portraits). The text is divided into 50 sections with discussions of each state.

Bibliographical references: NUC.

6. English, 1924.
The | First One Hundred Years | Of | American Geology | By George P. Merrill | Head Curator Of Geology | United States National Museum | [ornament] | New Haven Yale University Press | London Humphrey Milford Oxford University Press | MDCCCCXXIV.

8: [i]-xxi, [1], [1]-773, [1] p., colored folding frontispiece, 35 plates (mostly portraits), 130 text illus. Page size: 252 x 158 mm.

Contents: [i-ii], Half title page, "The First One Hundred Years Of | American Geology," verso "Published ..."; [Frontispiece; facsimile reproduction of Maclure's geological map of the eastern United States, 1809.]; [iii-iv], Title page, verso "Copyright, 1924, by Yale University Press."; [v], "The | Philip Hamilton McMillian Memorial | Publication Fund."; [vi], Blank.; [vii], "Preface."; [viii], Blank.; [ix]-xv, "Contents."; [xvi], Blank.; [xvii]-xxi, "Illustrations."; [1 pg], Blank.; [1]-664, Text.; [665], "Appendix | Letters Concerning Matters Referred | To In The Text."; [666], Blank.; [667]-734, Text of appendix.; [735]-773, "Index."; [1 pg], Blank.

Scarce. This is an important and well illustrated history of early American geology. Merrill's opening chapters deal with the Maclurean Era, 1785-1819, so named from William Maclure who, in 1809, issued his epoch-making Observations on the Geology of the United States. The Eatonian Era, 1820-1829, followed with Amos Eaton, author of the geological text-book, as its chief figure. Then came the era of the State survey, extending from 1830 to 1880, to be succeeded in turn by the era of national surveys reaching to the early 20th century. In the course of the text, mention is made of several hundred contributors to the development of geology in the United States, often with accounts of their opinions, quotations from their writings and sketches of their lives. Many portraits of these researchers are included. An extensive index at the end facilitates the use of the work.

Bibliographical references: Book Review Digest: (1924), p. 398. NUC.

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