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A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, Michigan Technological Univ., Houghton, Michigan
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John Jaszczak




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PostPosted: Nov 14, 2010 14:55    Post subject: Re: A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, Michigan Technical University, Houghton, Michigan  

One of my favorite copper specimens- this is a small section of a 10.8 x 6 x 4 cm specimen from the Cliff Mine, Keweenaw Co., MI. It was displayed in the Keweenaw Gallery of the museum, and was formerly in the John T. Reeder collection.


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Copper. Cliff Mine, Keweenaw Co., MI. 10.8 x 6 x 4 cm.
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PostPosted: Nov 14, 2010 16:04    Post subject: Re: A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, Michigan Technical University, Houghton, Michigan  

Visitors to the museum will not be disappointed to find surprises in the world-wide holdings in the collection. One of the most prized pieces in the collection is this large (16 x 16 cm) specimen of native antimony crystals with calcite crystals. It is from the famous Lake George Antimony mine, New Bruswick, Canada. (George W. Robinson photograph.)


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Native antimony with calcite. Lake George Antimony mine, New Brunswick, Canada.
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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: Nov 14, 2010 16:08    Post subject: Re: A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, Michigan Technical University, Houghton, Michigan  

John Jaszczak wrote:
Native antimony with calcite. Lake George Antimony mine, New Brunswick, Canada.

World's best, in my opinion. Thank you again to share all these marvels with us.

Jordi
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PostPosted: Nov 14, 2010 16:21    Post subject: Re: A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, Michigan Technical University, Houghton, Michigan  

The former museum site had a very nice gift shop that was greatly expanded in recent years. I personally think a great gift shop is an important part of a good mineral (or natural history) museum- for the sake of future young collectors. The new museum's gift shop promises to be even better!


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Karma at the gifts shop desk.
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Museum gift shop.
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PostPosted: Nov 14, 2010 22:02    Post subject: Re: A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, Michigan Technical University, Houghton, Michigan  

The Seaman Museum gift shop also sells publications with emphasis on the minerals and mining history of the region, a great opportunity for visitors wishing to learn more.
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PostPosted: Nov 15, 2010 10:37    Post subject: Re: A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, Michigan Technical University, Houghton, Michigan  

The museum's collection was stored in shelves underneath the display cabinets, and also in over 50 Lane cabinets in one of the back rooms by the curator's office.


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Lane cabinets store a large fraction of the museum's collection
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After individually wrapping each specimen and securing them in each drawer, the Lane cabinets were loaded onto pallets to be securely stored until the new museum building is completed.
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PostPosted: Nov 15, 2010 16:48    Post subject: Re: A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, Michigan Technical University, Houghton, Michigan  

The museum gift shop has reopened in a lovely little spot in the basement of the Memorial Union Building on the Michigan Tech Campus.


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Gift shop in the MUB.
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PostPosted: Nov 15, 2010 16:51    Post subject: Re: A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, Michigan Technical University, Houghton, Michigan  

The A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum resided on the entire 5th floor of the Electrical Energy Resource Center (EERC) building since 1976. It was a purpose-built space, but was supposed to be temporary, until a visitors center was built for the university. The visitor's center isn't planned anymore, but the new building for the museum is underway. We also got an anticipated snowstorm last night. The trees were lovely, but the roads were ugly.


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Electrical Energy Resource Center building. The museum resided on the 5th floor for over 30 years.
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PostPosted: Nov 15, 2010 17:16    Post subject: Re: A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, Michigan Technical University, Houghton, Michigan  

Jean Petermann Kemp Zimmer (1917-2001) was the fourth curator of the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, following in the footsteps of Arthur Edmund Seaman, who founded the museum in 1902, Wyllys A. Seaman, and Kiril Spiroff. Jean studied mineralogy under W. A. Seaman and K. Spiroff, and was one of only a handful of female students when she enrolled in the Michigan College of Mining and Technology in 1935. She later earned an MS in Geology for the University of Michigan. She became assistant curator in 1967 and curator in 1975. Regarding the situation for the museum and the collection after the demolition of Hotchkiss Hall, the museum’s home prior to the EERC, Stan Dyl wrote:

“The collection was stored in a basement room of the Michigan Tech Library from 1973 to 1976, and during that period Jean hand-cataloged well over 25,000 specimens, writing entries into bound ledgers with a triple-zero Rapidograph drafting pen.

As a “break” from cataloging, Jean carved out time to design much of the planned museum facility, slated for the 5th floor of the “new” Electrical Energy Resources Center--herself. She picked the interior colors, designed new exhibit cases that optimized viewing and the specimen display environment, planned the display case arrangement and the exhibits they would contain, and personally installed at least 50% of those displays. Jean made the first serious attempt in the museum’s history to create aesthetically-pleasing displays, lightening the specimen density grouping specimens to highlight color and texture.” [Stan Dyl (2003) Seaman Mineral Museum Society News]

Jean retired in 1986, and was succeeded by her assistant, Stanley J. Dyl II.

A short history of the museum is available at
https://www.museum.mtu.edu/information/history.htm
(link normalized by FMF)



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Jean Petermann Kemp Zimmer. Curator of the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum from 1975-1986.
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PostPosted: Nov 16, 2010 14:31    Post subject: Re: A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, Michigan Technical University, Houghton, Michigan  

Michigan Tech's "Tech Today" published a nice update about the new museum building on top of the Mabbs mine shafts. See the article at
https://www.admin.mtu.edu/urel/ttoday/previous.php?issue=20101116
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There is still snow on the ground and the temperature is cold. Crews built plastic-covered scaffolding over the section of the north wall to continue laying bricks.



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Snow covered-site and plastic covered scaffolding readying construction of the north wall.
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Close up of the scaffolding setup to continue winter-weather wall making.
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PostPosted: Nov 17, 2010 22:47    Post subject: Re: A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, Michigan Technical University, Houghton, Michigan  

Today's Daily Mining Gazette had an article about the museum and the discovery of the Mabbs mine shafts. You can read it and see a few more photos at:
https://www.mininggazette.com/page/content.detail/id/517699/Working-around-history.html?nav=5006
(link normalized by FMF)

Here is a lovely shigaite crystal (~4mm across) that happens to be associated with the cluster of seamanite crystals shown above. It is from the 118' sublevel above 6th level mine coord. 1200 S. 1700 E. in sussexite vein, Bengal (Cannon) mine, Stambaugh, Iron Co., MI.



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Shigaite, Bengal mine, Iron Co., MI
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PostPosted: Nov 18, 2010 20:25    Post subject: Re: A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, Michigan Technical University, Houghton, Michigan  

This stunning copper specimen is 8.5 x 6.8 x 4.6 cm and has become an unofficial logo for the museum. It has appeared on several journal covers, as well as the revised Mineralogy of Michigan by G. W. Robinson. It is from the Central Mine, Keweenaw Co., MI., formerly in the Donald C. Gabriel collection. George. W. Robinson photograph.


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Native copper (twinned) from the Central Mine, Keweenaw Co., MI.
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PostPosted: Nov 18, 2010 20:30    Post subject: Re: A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, Michigan Technical University, Houghton, Michigan  

This whopper copper specimen is composed of elongated and twinned complex crystals. It is affectionately known as the "grasshopper" and is considered one of the best copper specimens in the collection by many. It measures 38 x 18.5 x 7 cm, and is from near Rockland, Ontonagon Co. MI; formerly in the John T. Reeder collection. Photo by G. W. Robinson and J. A. Jaszczak.


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Copper "The Grasshopper" from Rockland, Ontonagon Co., MI.
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PostPosted: Nov 19, 2010 12:53    Post subject: Re: A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, Michigan Technical University, Houghton, Michigan  

After Jean Kemp's retirement in 1986, her assistant Stanley J. Dyl II became curator, and retired in February 2008. In October 2007 he received the Dr. Charles A. Salotti Earth Science Education Award.

During his 32-year career at Michigan Tech, Stan made many friends, and helped the museum's collection to grow in size and stature. He also was been continually involved with outreach and informal education of the general public through his work as former Curatorial Assistant, Curator, Director, and finally as Director of Advancement and Planning at the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum. During his tenure he produced numerous educational exhibits shown both within and outside the museum that have inspired and taught thousands of visitors about minerals. He gave hundreds of museum tours to school groups, countless formal and popular talks on minerals and the mining history of the Keweenaw, and in 1992 coauthored with Marc Wilson “Michigan Copper Country,” a landmark special issue of the Mineralogical Record.

Stan was instrumental in the creation of the Keweenaw National Historic Park which preserves and interprets sites, structures, and stories related to copper mining on the Keweenaw Peninsula. He also initiated the project to move the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum to adaptively restored mine buildings on Quincy Hill.



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Stanley J. Dyl II. 5th curator of the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum.
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PostPosted: Nov 19, 2010 20:18    Post subject: Re: A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, Michigan Technical University, Houghton, Michigan  

The old museum was pretty much packed up and no longer the museum as of today. The minerals are all removed, cases are all in storage, the staff computers were moved, and keys were turned in.

We'll get some images up of the packing process, but today we salute the museum staff in completing the first part of a huge task.



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View of what was the systematic mineral hall looking toward one of the storage and work rooms.
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PostPosted: Nov 20, 2010 14:01    Post subject: Re: A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, Michigan Technical University, Houghton, Michigan  

The north wall of the museum includes room for the staff door and windows. The west-ward end of the wall, yet to be constructed, will have the visitor's entrance.

It is 21 degrees F today and white hexagonal crystals continue to fall..



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northwest corner
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incomplete North wall
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PostPosted: Nov 22, 2010 21:50    Post subject: Re: A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, Michigan Technical University, Houghton, Michigan  

The Bristol mine (also known as the Claire mine) near Crystal Falls, Michigan, was closed in 1933 and allowed to flood. When it was reopened in 1948 miners found that gypsum crystals had precipitated and grown on not only the mine walls, but on the tools, timbers and ladders left in the mine. Many fine specimens were recovered by miner John Tuchowski.


gypsum DM27495 Bristol mine JAJ.jpg
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Post-mining-formed gypsum, var. selenite, from the Bristol mine, Crystal Falls, Iron Co., Michigan.
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PostPosted: Nov 23, 2010 19:51    Post subject: Re: A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, Michigan Technical University, Houghton, Michigan  

This is one of my favorite copper specimens in the museum's collection that is not "crystallized". The copper filled in elongated gas amygdules in the basalt forming so-called "pipe" copper.


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"Pipe" copper from Keweenaw Co., Michigan.
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PostPosted: Nov 25, 2010 13:56    Post subject: Re: A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, Michigan Technical University, Houghton, Michigan  

It took an amazing amount of planning and coordination to pack up the museum in preparation for moving; and for the university to be able to start renovating the vacated space over the winter. The east side of the museum, hosting the systematic collection gallery, the Beauty of Minerals exhibit, and several miscellaneous exhibits closed in August, soon after the Board of Control approved plans for the new building.


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Systematic gallery-side of the museum closed first.
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packing materials
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even more packing materials
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PostPosted: Nov 25, 2010 21:28    Post subject: Re: A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, Michigan Technical University, Houghton, Michigan  

Dr. George W. Robinson, is the current and sixth curator of the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum. He holds a joint appointment as professor in the department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences at Michigan Tech, and is also a research associate of the New York State Museum. He earned his B.A. in geology from S.U.N.Y Potsdam, NY and his Ph.D. in mineralogy from Queens University in 1979. In 1985 the George W. Robinson Laboratory of Mineralogy was dedicated in his honor at the State University of New York, Potsdam, and in 2001 he received the Charles A. Salotti Earth Science Education Award. He is author of over 50 publications in technical and popular journals, numerous scientific abstracts, and eight books or book chapters. His book Minerals, published in 1994, is unique among the countless books on popular mineralogy in that it combines the lovely photography of minerals by Jeff Scovil with a text that explains, in terms that appeal to both the layman and the expert, how minerals form in different geological environments. In 2004 he published a completely revised and expanded edition of E. W. Heinrich's Mineralogy of Michigan, including color illustrations.
Before coming to Michigan Tech in 1996 Dr. Robinson was curator at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Prior to that we was a private mineral dealer and a high school earth science teacher. Since coming to MTU he has taught numerous special intensive courses and workshops on mineralogy and its relevance to earth science teachers, students, and rock hounds. He has tirelessly worked to upgrade the Seaman Mineral Museum's collections and their interpretation to the public. Over the years he and the museum staff completely revised all of the exhibits in the museum, including upgrading the systematic gallery, creating a Beauty of Minerals gallery, new gemstone exhibits, a new exhibit of fluorescent minerals, and extensive new galleries of Michigan's minerals. He has big plans for galleries in the new museum!



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Dr. George W. Robinson. Sixth curator of the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum and Professor of Mineralogy.
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