- Economic Geology
Economic Geology had a short gestation. Eleven months from suggestion to publication! The reason was both the people involved, and the tenor of the times—there was a pressing need for a way to communicate in a rapidly emerging field.
The later years of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries were times of intense debate concerning the genesis of mineral deposits. Late in 1904, Josiah E. Spurr pointed out to some friends from the U.S. Geological Survey that a dedicated journal would help disseminate and internationalize the substance of the debates. We know where the friends gathered—at the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C., and approximately when—sometime in November or December. We also know that Waldemar Lindgren and H. Foster Bain were among those present, and that Spurr’s idea was discussed with enthusiasm.
There must have been many informal discussions in the early months of 1905, but there is no record of them. We know, however, that all the background planning for a new journal had been done by May 16, 1905, because on that day Spurr, Lindgren, and Bain, together with Arthur H. Brooks, Frederick L. Ransome, John D. Irving, and George O. Smith, met and agreed to form a public company, the sole purpose of which was the publication of a scientific journal about mineral deposits. The company, subsequently named the Economic Geology Publishing Company,was to be funded by the sale of 80 shares, par value $25, and governed by a board of directors. Spurr was elected chairman of the board, Ransome, the secretary, and Smith, the treasurer. Other members of the board were Lindgren, Brooks, Irving, Marius R. Campbell, and Walter H. Weed. The first matter facing the board was the election of an editor; they chose Irving and their choice was insightful. Although connected …