(KUNZ, George Frederick)
[An archive of letters written to George Frederick Kunz, largely on gemological matters]
[Various places: 1884-1930]. Approximately 105 letters or notes, comprising: approximately 9 autograph notes signed on post cards, approximately 83 autograph letters signed, and approximately 22 typed letters signed.
A fascinating archive of correspondence to noted American mineralogist and mineral collector, George Frederick Kunz.
George Frederick Kunz developed an interest in minerals from a very young age. He amassed a collection of over four thousand specimens by the time he was in his teens, which he sold to the University of Minnesota for $400. He was self-educated in the field of mineralogy, and took a job with Tiffany & Co., where he was promoted to vice president at the age of 23. He was responsible for the U. S. mining and mineralogical exhibits for the international exhibitions in Paris (1889), Chicago (1893), Atlanta (1895), Paris (1900), and St. Louis (1904). He was a member of the Mineralogical Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, New York Academy of Sciences (serving for a time as vice president), the New York Mineralogical Club, the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society (serving as president), the American Chemical Society, the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers (serving for a time as vice president). He was a special agent for the U.S. Geological Society, and was a curator at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. He identified a new gem variety of the mineral spodumene, which was named "Kunzite" in his honor. He was a prolific writer on the subject of gems and minerals, writing over 300 books and articles throughout his lifetime.
The archive includes correspondences from a number of prominent individuals from institutions across the world. This includes minerology and geology professors at Columbia, Yale, Harvard, Rutgers, and more; chemical engineer James R. Withrow, chemist Wallace G. Levison, mineralogists Samuel L. Penfield, John E. Wolff, Thomas L. Watson (state geologist for Virginia), Joseph Hyde Pratt, and Waldemar Theodore Schaller; Charles Read (curator at the British Museum); Persifor Frazer (of the Frazer family), William Osgood Field (of the Field family), and John Wanamaker (of Philadelphia); Stanley Field (of the Field Museum in Chicago), Samuel Wesley Stratton (president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology), H. L. Fairchild (secretary of the Geological Society of America), Alexander H. Phillips (Treasurer of the Mineralogical Society of America), R. W. Raymond (Acting Manager at Cooper Union), and numerous others.
These correspondences mostly discuss materials, including minerals, books, and reports, that Kunz sent out for these individuals' inspection, review, or collection. The various authors of the letters offer their thoughts and thanks for such materials and arrange meetings and deliveries around them. The archive also includes a letter from R.W. Raymond offering various edits for an article Kunz was writing. There are letters in English, Spanish, French, and German.