George Perkins Merrill

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George Perkins Merrill (May 31, 1854 Auburn, Maine – August 15, 1929) was an American geologist, notable as the head curator from 1917 to 1929 of the Department of Geology, United States National Museum (now the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution).[1]

He was educated at the University of Maine (B.S., 1879; Ph.D., 1889), took a post-graduate courses of study and was assistant in chemistry at Wesleyan University, Connecticut (1879–1880), and subsequently studied at Johns Hopkins (1886–1887).[2] In 1881, he became assistant curator at the National Museum, Washington, D.C.. He also served as professor of geology and mineralogy at the Corcoran Scientific School of Columbian University (now George Washington University) from 1893 to 1916, and was appointed head curator of the department of geology at the National Museum in 1897. In 1922 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He wrote many periodical contributions, especially on meteorites.


His chief publications are:

  • Stones for Building and Decoration (1891; third edition, 1903)
  • A Treatise on Rocks, Rock-Weathering, and Soils (1897; second edition, 1906)
  • The Non-Metallic Minerals (1904; second edition, 1910)
  • The Fossil Forests of Arizona (1911)
  • The First Hundred Years of American Geology (1924)


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Smithsonian Institution Archives