Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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BRINLEY, George, book-collector, born in Boston, 15 May, 1817; died in Bermuda, 14 May, 1875. He was educated at the best schools in Boston. For a short time he engaged in business; but his health admonished him to adopt a different mode of life, and, having inherited a sufficient estate, he was able to indulge his taste for rare and curious books. He employed agents and purchasers wherever books were to be bought, and made a collection of Americana that was only surpassed by those of John Carter Brown and James Lenox. It comprised more than 12,000 volumes, a large proportion of them very rare, and all of them valuable. Such of the books as required binding were placed in the hands of the most skilled workmen of modern times. In his will Mr. Brinley gave books to the value of $25,000 to the libraries of Yale and other Colleges; representatives from each to attend the sale and bid with other intending buyers, but not being required to pay for their purchases unless the pro-rata amount was exceeded. During most of his life Mr. Brinley resided in Hartford, Connecticut, where his collection was jealously guarded from the sight of all save the most appreciative and trusted of his book-loving acquaintances. Dr. J. Hammond Trumbull, of Hartford, catalogued the library and its three parts comprise a nearly exhaustive bibliography of the rarest American books. In 1868 Mr. Brinley received the degree of M. A. from Yale.--His son, Charles A., born in Hartford, Connecticut, 23 August, 1847, was attached in 1864-'5 to the field party of the California state geological survey, and was with the engineers employed by the United States government to survey a wagon-road to Colorado river. Returning to the east, he entered Sheffield scientific school at Yale, and was graduated in 1869, spending three years in a post-graduate course of chemistry and metallurgy. In these branches of science he became a recognized expert, and since 1872 has been superintendent of large steel works near Philadelphia, and of a sugar-refinery in that city.
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