George Cameron Stone

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George Cameron Stone (born August 6, 1859 in Geneva , New York, † November 18, 1935 in New York City , New York) was an American engineer and metallurgist and an ambitious gun collector, who mainly because of his main work, an extensive glossary on weapons and armor worldwide, is a specialist in the field of historical weapons.


George Cameron Stone graduated from Columbia University School of Mines in 1879 with a Ph.B. (Bachelor of Philosophy) and from then on worked as a mine engineer. In 1880 Stone became a member of the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers (AIME). In 1882 he began working as an engineer with the New Jersey Zinc and Iron Company. He was promoted to chief engineer as well as chief metallurgist. In the course of his work, he registered eight patents for industrial applications in metallurgy. He is the author of around 50 specialist articles. In 1912 he was appointed chairman of the board of directors of the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers, later its treasurer.

During World War I he was appointed chairman of the non-ferrous metals section of the US government's War Industry Board (WIB). In 1929, at the age of 70, Stone retired from the now renamed Zinc Company for which he worked for 37 years. In 1935, a few months before his death, Stone received the James Douglas Medal from AIME for outstanding achievements in the field of non-ferrous metallurgy.

Weapon collection

Stone showed a keen interest in weapons from an early age. He opened his collection with the acquisition of a Persian firearm at a New York auction shortly after graduating, which is believed to be one of the weapons his first published article in the Magazine of Antique Firearms (1911–1912) dealt with. Stone's decision to systematize weapon names must have matured early, as did a letter dated April 30, 1916, to Lawrence Jenkins (1872–1961), the director of the Peabody Museum in Salem (now: Peabody Essex Museum), Massachusetts, in which he asks for support and the provision of photographic representations of arrows from Asia. Stone also requests and receives support for his weapons glossary. a. by the respective curators of the Metropolitan Museum of Art , Bashford Dean (1867–1928) and Stephen V. Grancsay (1897–1980). Grancsay supported Stone mainly with regard to European weapons.

With his retirement, Stone found time to advance and finalize his weapons glossary. His main work was published in 1934 after more than 30 years of research and a lifelong passion for collecting. At the time of his death, Stone's collection comprised approximately 5,000 individual pieces, all of which he housed in his home on W. 11th Street in New York. In his will he bequeathed 3,500 pieces to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which ceded 360 (non-oriental) unique pieces to the Peabody Museum. Stone bequeathed around 1,400 Japanese sword assemblies to the Cooper Museum (today: Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design , Smithsonian) in New York, including 600 tsuba (guard plates).

Gun acquisition

In all probability, Stone's main dealer was the English supplier of tribal art and ethnographic collectibles WO Oldman († 1949), who also acted as the main dealer of his friend Carl Otto von Kienbusch and sent interesting pieces to the collectors, who then selected the pieces they were interested in and from Oldman acquired - the other copies went back to the dealer.

As a result of his professional activity, Stone was able to acquire pieces for his collection worldwide. For this purpose he visited dealers on his travels:


  • 1911: Early Flintlocks. Magazine of Antique Firearms, Vol. II (1).
  • 1934: A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration, and Use of Arms and Armor in All Countries and in All Times: Together with Some Closely Related Subjects. Southwork Press, Portland, Maine. (Reprint: Dover Publications, Mineola, New York 1999, ISBN 0-486-40726-8 , limited preview with Google Book Search ).


  • Donald J. LaRocca: Introduction to the Dover Edition. In: Reprint edition: George Cameron Stone: A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor. In All Countries and in All Times. Together with some closely related subjects. Dover Publications, Mineola, New York 1999, ISBN 0-486-40726-8 , pp. V-VI.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Margaret A. Firth (Ed.): Handbook of Scientific and Technical Awards in the United States and Canada 1900-1952. Special Libraries Association, New York 1956, p. 120.
  2. statement of his friend Kienbusch, LaRocca (1999)
  3. Winant, Lewis. 1955. Firearms Curiosa. New York: Bonanza Books. P. 278.
  4. Stone: “I have been trying to write a glossary of armor and want these for illustrations. I would be very much obliged for a similar set of pictures of clubs typical of different localities. When I get my manuscript in better shape I hope you will be good enough to look over and correct some of my errors. " LaRocca (1999).
  5. according to correspondence Kienbusch / Oldman, LaRocca (1999).