George Jarvis Brush

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For the American painter, see George de Forest Brush. For the American soldier, physician, and politician, see George W. Brush.
George Jarvis Brush
Born 1831
Brooklyn, New York
Died 1912
Fields Mineralogy
Institutions Sheffield Scientific School
American Association for the Advancement of Science

George Jarvis Brush (1831–1912) was an American mineralogist and academic administrator who spent most of his career at Yale University in the Sheffield Scientific School.


Brush was born in Brooklyn, New York. He began his studies at Yale in 1848 with courses from Benjamin Silliman, Jr. and John Pitkin Norton on practical chemistry and agriculture. He also studied chemistry, metallurgy and mineralogy. He left in 1850 to work with Benjamin Silliman, Jr. but received his Ph.D. from Yale in 1852 by special examination. From 1852 to 1855, Brush worked and studied at the University of Virginia and in Munich and Freiberg. He returned to Sheffield in 1855 to join the faculty as professor of Metallurgy and later of Mineralogy. Brush had begun acquiring an extensive research collection of minerals. He was appointed the first curator of the Peabody Museum of Natural History's mineral collection. He was a member of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In 1872, he became the first director of Sheffield. He served as the president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1881. He published extensively in the American Journal of Science and other journals. He also published a Manual of Determinative Mineralogy (1875; fifteenth edition, 1899).

In 1898, Brush retired from teaching and administration at Sheffield. He continued serving at the school, however, as secretary, treasurer and president of the board, until 1911.

In 1904, Brush donated his collection of minerals, along with funds for their maintenance, to Sheffield. Originally housed in Hammond Hall at Yale, the Brush Collection is now administered by the Division of Mineralogy at the Yale Peabody Museum.

Brush died in 1912. The mineral brushite was named in his honor by G. E. Moore.



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