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GeneralBart Cannon (1950-2019)

26th Nov 2019 22:52 UTCRob Woodside Manager

I just got this message from Pat Dolan, a family friend. 
Our friend Bart passed away sometime last night at home from complications of extensive metastatic cancer. His brother found him today. Things are very hectic for his brother at the moment. More info as available.

26th Nov 2019 23:34 UTCFrank Keutsch Expert

That is terrible news. I am very sorry to hear this!! We have been working on a bunch of some pretty amazing new minerals in material that I got from Bart as he thought it was promising. 

I am so sad to hear this news!!


27th Nov 2019 00:07 UTCJohannes Swarts

Oh, I'm so sorry...

Never met the man, but I've always enjoyed his collecting stories here on Mindat, and his vast knowledge of minerals.

He seemed like "quite the rig", as we say up here in northern New England.

A significant loss to the mineral community.  My condolences go out to his family and friends.


27th Nov 2019 01:02 UTCDana Slaughter

Hi Rob,

Horrible news! I just corresponded with him and was going to send some bits of tellurium minerals as offered me a spectrum. I enjoyed Bart tremendously and visited him several times. Once you gained his trust he was an absolute hoot to be around and he could talk on any subject.

I enjoyed his stories and implored him to at least record some of them before they were lost. He was an unbelievable field collector and mad scientist! I will miss him and had hoped to visit again for the Seattle Mineral Market next year. Such sad news.

Rob, I hope that you are feeling better as well---I never would have met you had it not been for my friendship with Bart. Take care.


27th Nov 2019 01:39 UTCRussell Boggs

So sorry to hear that. I have known Bart about 50 years. He will be a great loss to the mineralogical community. More later as I get time.

27th Nov 2019 01:56 UTCKeith Compton Manager

Do we have a photo of Bart to include in this thread?

27th Nov 2019 02:35 UTCAlfredo Petrov Manager

Copyright © 2009 Robert O. Meyer
Keith, you can see him here:

https://www.mindat.org/min-884.html   ... his namesake species.

27th Nov 2019 03:08 UTCKeith Compton Manager

Thanks Alfredo

I also hadn't realised he had a mineral named after him.

27th Nov 2019 03:27 UTCDon Windeler

Damn.  Bart was on my list of people in the hobby I've always wanted to meet but hadn't yet had the chance.  Struck me as a fantastically knowledgeable curmudgeon here on his MinDat posts and I was lucky enough to acquire a Washington state copper from him (my only one!) that he'd collected in 2002.  RIP, Bart -- I tip a Bessemer pseudomorph in your general direction.


27th Nov 2019 07:37 UTCMalcolm Southwood Expert

Very sorry to hear this Rob.  I never met Bart, but we had a lot of email correspondence over the past couple of years.  My condolences to all.

27th Nov 2019 07:41 UTCJolyon Ralph Founder

Terrible news 

27th Nov 2019 09:05 UTCHarjo Neutkens Manager

Such terrible news. I wish Bart's family and friends all the strength in the world.

27th Nov 2019 09:09 UTCUwe Kolitsch Manager

Sad news ... I had never met Bart, but we had corresponded.

27th Nov 2019 09:21 UTCDavid Von Bargen Manager

Sad to hear it.

27th Nov 2019 14:52 UTCJeff Weissman Expert

I never met Bart - I did purchase from him several times and had ongoing discussions via email; both his depth of knowledge and willingness to share were remarkable.

27th Nov 2019 15:01 UTCEric D. Fritzsch

Sorry to hear of Bart's passing.  My condolences to his family.

27th Nov 2019 15:28 UTCChris DeGrave Expert

I was fortunate enough to have met Bart and was invited to his house (well, honestly I invited myself the first time) and was able to rummage through his stock for minerals. He was a genuinely nice man and very generous. I was hoping to get to see him again soon. He will be greatly missed. My condolences go to his family and to all those whose life he touched. We as a community lost a great resource and good man.

27th Nov 2019 17:35 UTCOwen Tolley

So sad to hear this news. I was able to exchange several emails with Bart this summer but I had no idea of his condition. Surely a great source of knowledge no longer with us but surely he was able to share his knowledge, experience, and love of minerals with many. I understand he had been working on a new edition of Minerals of Washington as well as some other guides for collectors. Hopefully, that work doesn't go unpublished.

27th Nov 2019 17:50 UTCJolyon Ralph Founder

POTD for tomorrow changed.

27th Nov 2019 18:47 UTCPaul Brandes Manager

Great idea!!

27th Nov 2019 20:26 UTCTony Nikischer Manager

A very sad time for those of us who knew Bart. Part "vampire", part genius, who slept days and worked nights, Bart was not only generous with his specimens, but also with the knowledge he shared re: his microprobe and SEM techniques. 

Rest in Peace my friend!

27th Nov 2019 18:19 UTCDana Slaughter

I'm not sure that Bart was actively working on a new edition of Minerals of Washington---he seemed to have a dozen projects going at the same time. I mentioned it to him several times but he just waved it off as something that he had contemplated for a long time. By the way, the drawing of the Green River Gorge realgar on page 148 is one of my favorite mineral drawings---he did all the illustrations for his book. Just superb.

He appeared to me to be quite the recluse but when we went out for dinner or to the
Little Red Hen to listen to his friend Knut Bell he was seemingly well known to everyone. The guy taking the cover at the LRH pushed us through the line at no charge and promptly cleared a table of its occupants at the packed place just for Bartman as he called him. Bart even got Knut to perform an awesome version of the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald for us native Michiganders!

I loved his sense of humor and pulled as much mineral knowledge from him as I could---he did appreciate a captive audience and the breadth of his knowledge was astounding. He was very generous with his conversation and his time with me and I always left Seattle with more knowledge, more stories and a ton of rocks. His yard rocks were large pieces of Lucky Knock mine stibnite, Stillwater Complex Pd/Pt ores and Arkansas bauxite---he let me take home whatever I wanted!

I'll miss you my friend.

27th Nov 2019 21:48 UTCJohn Sobolewski Expert

I have known Bart for many years, having lived a few miles away. This very sad news. We will all miss him greatly. John S.

29th Nov 2019 06:27 UTCOwen Tolley

You're right, excuse me. I found the message and this is what he had said "The first edition of MoW will be re-published in the next couple of months. The second edition is still mostly at the rough draft stage, and research is ongoing." He also mentioned his intention to start selling booklets on various NW localities.

I was excited to hear that MoW would be re-published since I still don't have a copy.

27th Nov 2019 22:35 UTCErin Delventhal Manager

Very sad news.
I didn’t know Bart well but was looking forward to working with him on a project.  I suppose a dedication will be in order but I’d rather have given him some answers.

27th Nov 2019 23:20 UTCTony L. Potucek Expert

Thanks for letting us know.  I am grieved by his passing.  He and I spent time going back to Desert Inn days in Tucson discussing old collectors and Idaho locations.  Five days ago, Bart responded to my latest inquiry about a fairly renown NW dealer-collector by the name of Carl Ferr.  I want to share his last post back to me, which is a good example of the historical knowledge he possessed, not to mention his mineral and scientific knowledge:

I used to go into Carl Ferr’s Ore Incorporated store on Riverfront twice a week in the summer field seasons in 1969 and 1970. I wish I had had a little money then. I’d have bought most everything in sight. My unforgettable favorite was a 5x5 light lemon green pyromorphite stated to be from the North Star Claim in BC. Not the Society Girl. I spent much time searching for the Morning Star until I discovered it was the Eastern claim of the Society Girl claim group. I hustled up there and pulled out some good material.

However, Rod Tyson beat me there by a week.

I am going to miss this guy for a long, long time....

28th Nov 2019 02:48 UTCTom Tucker

Bart was a knowledgable, fun, helpful, friend whom I hadn't seen in 30 years.   Before that I had collected from localities in the Stillwater Complex - platinum minerals - for him.  They did contain platinum species.  I shipped his 40 pounds of rocks off to him, but I still have over 650 pounds for posterity.  Really uninteresting rooks.  We'll all miss Bart.   Tom

28th Nov 2019 17:48 UTCJim Walker & Mary Fong/Walker

RIP Benjamin Bartlett Cannon V

Bart was a unique individual who was an incredible asset to the mineral community.  It was with a heavy heart that we read your message.

When we were in our twenties and first read "Minerals of Washington" we thought the author had to be an older dude ... especially given the depth of information and all of the great illustrations that he did for the book (which he self published ... unheard of at the time).  But then we finally met Bart, we were delighted to find a kindred spirit that was our age.  Who can forget late nights at the Desert Inn with "Mr. Front Desk" getting upset with all the laughter coming out of Bart's packed room as he composed music based on his mineral prices, while we watched his film about collecting on Vesper Peak ("stress tested for LA County") on an editing projector screen that measured 3"x 4".

He was sorely missed from the Tucson scene after he decided that it was too much hassle and that it was better to be a vampire in Seattle (you never called Bart before 2 or 3 in the afternoon at the earliest).  So he only rarely showed up in Tucson (once with the "Duchess") so you had to go to Seattle to catch up with him.  Who else would dream up creating a vortex in a kiddie's wading pool?  Or projecting a movie on a sheet hung on the side of his house?  Who else would have three (yes, three) microprobes sandwiched in his house (a house that contained a myriad of oddities that he pulled together to befuddle the unwary.)

A ferocious field collector who explored the northwest with a passion seldom matched by others (he survived on a single loaf of bread because he traveled light and needed the room for rocks.)  He found the Zektzerite deposit in 1966 (when he was 16!) but got beaten out of having it named for him by older and craftier folk.  So we were glad that Cannonite was later named in his honor. 

So wherever he is now, he is with Carbide.  He will be missed!

Jim & Mary

28th Nov 2019 20:34 UTCRalph Bottrill Manager

Very sad news, the guy was a living legend!

28th Nov 2019 21:07 UTCGareth Evans

Terrible news!

I was communicating with him by email about the chemical elements, and then his emails stopped. Very nice gentleman. Sad news.

2nd Dec 2019 18:42 UTCRob Woodside Manager

I'm still reeling from the shock of Bart's death. About a week before Bart had a serious abdominal problem and went for treatment. While there they scanned him found the tumours. So they brought him back for a biopsy. The morning he died his brother Scott had dropped by to takes some documents to the hospital and when he returned found Bart  dead in the living room. So this was a horrible surprise to everyone.

Bart's house of wonders is now cleared and everything is in storage with photos of what came from where. So all the research material is safe and will be available for future work. In Bart's recovery from his accident he bought a new microprobe. Now I believe there are three microprobes looking for a good home. They must be cleared out in six months. There's talk of having some kind of wake next March?  after the final clearing of the probes.

This morning AM Pat sent this notice in remembrance of the Bartman.

Bart Cannon Remembrance, Thursday, Dec. 5, 7:30PM

Come join Bart's brother Scott Cannon, along with a variety of folks from all the many parts of Bart Cannon's life as we remember our friend.

Socializing begins at 7:30 at the Little Red Hen, 7115 Woodlawn Ave. NE., Seattle, Washington 98115.

5th Dec 2019 01:48 UTCJim MGlasson

I am shocked and in disbelief that such a great person, and long-time friend has left us  so soon. I first met Bart in the mid-seventies, when I first had a sales room at the Desert Inn, during the Tucson Show. We became friends, I was living in Spokane at the time and traveled through Seattle 2-4 times a year on business, and would try to arrange meeting with him and on several occasions staying the night in his house.

One night when I was staying with him, it started to snow and by late evening there were a couple of inches of snow on the ground.  Bart suggested that we go outside and watch the "fun", not knowing what was up, I agreed. The "fun" turned out to be watching cars going down the hill in front of the house our of control, they would bounce off of the parked cars on the way down. Bart's comment was that he had his private toboggan run on the street.

I was at Bart's house a few days after he got the surplus micro-probe from Boeing, and had it in the "shed out back". He said it was not working but I got a few schematics and think I can get it going fairly soon.  It didn't take him long.

Bart was a very kind person and would do almost anything for another person.  Bart was a genius, not only in mineralogy, but also chemistry, music, electronics, and engineering (to my knowledge).  Those of us who knew him, I hope would all agree:

The world is a better place for having Bart Cannon among us. I certainly feel very strongly that my life and experiences have been enriched by the friendship and knowledge-sharing with Bart Cannon.

I am very sorry I can not make it to Seattle for the remembrance tomorrow night. My diagnosis, in 2014 with Parkinson's makes travel quite difficult. However, tomorrow night at  8:30 (7:30 Seattle time) I will raise a glass to "My Good Friend Bart Cannon".

Jim McGlasson

10th Dec 2019 00:57 UTCSal Noeldner

Bart emailed me the evening before that there DID happen to be an extra table at the Mineral Market the next day, and if I still wanted, I could mount an educational display of Walker Valley Calcite to show many of the diverse habits/ colors possibly to be found on state land (before being crushed to road gravel). After setting up the morning of, I ran over to get “Mineral Bucks” (Bart’s way of getting minerals to children cheaply- all dealers had to accept them) to hand out; his price for me to be there. In a grey milk crate under the innermost table some used mineral books sat. One, white with a handmade color cover, measuring 8 ½”x 11” and with a front plate of 11 color photos caught my eye as it contrasted finely against the pastels of faded bulletins. It was a used “Minerals of Washington” by Bart Cannon. A page of microprobe photos of “Supergene Minerals from the Tacoma Smelter Slags” was the second plate. I thought I was lucky to finally find a copy of his book and bought it for $15. He noted that I had found a treasure (I was so new!). Some time later I noticed that he had made a book with a drawing on the cover as well and contacted him to see if I could acquire this from him. No copies available, but he assured me that I had the latest effort. Some other changes are noted between it and the earlier book. Many, many simple errors however showing a need for further editing. He told me he HANDmade a “couple of these”. Does anyone know how many of these were made by him? I know the general year of creation…does anyone know more about this later effort? I hounded him for years about his need to complete the extremely rough 2nd edition. His local geology knowledge was Deep and Wide with only a fraction accounted for in writings.  He would talk though if the time was right...
Less than two months before his recent, very sudden death, he told me face to face that newly made copies of the 1st Edition should be “in the mail” to him as we spoke and I could acquire one. Also, he said there had been a recent effort to edit the 2nd but he was unsure about how to proceed (for various reasons). Please contact me if you have more information.
I am working on a collection of reminiscences of Bart Cannon (The more I hear from others, the greater my appreciation for his character.) I am specifically looking for ANY Bart related Pacific Northwest memories/photos/files related to minerals (please pm me). However, any and ALL are accepted! (You are free to place confidentiality bounds on information to allow a more complete story for the archive). His mineral intrigues, proposals, and projects were Super Interesting if you didn’t know! I have been honored to be privy to a few in just a decade but I know I don’t know much about his life. We are talking about saving as much as possible from the grey cloud of Obscurity the Pacific Northwest mineral world has had to deal with for so long!!! 
Bart had many facets/hats/faces like the minerals he had a passion for finding.
It was an honor to know him.

10th Dec 2019 19:55 UTCSal Noeldner

I asked Bart to sign it- he signed it to my wife in a 'quirky' fashion.  I understood.  His mineral memories always seemed to start with first, Who the lady was that he was seeing at the time and probably with him on the outing. It was always the lady's name jogging the memories... I wish I had made a better timeline. It was on the list for the next session.

13th Dec 2019 07:09 UTCSal Noeldner

It is humorous to see how one's memories change over time.  Going over old emails, I see I have made some mistakes in the retelling of the story and will go over point by point rather than re-edit the story.  You'll see how well I did.
November 25, 2008 (After the first show, we are now in email contact) - He answers to my query that he has " some blemished copies of the 1st ed. of Minerals of Washington.  They are $10 plus postage."
 I sent him a check to cover book plus shipping and handling costs end of March 2009 (I can take awhile sometimes).
April 09, 2009 He responds that he "will send out the book today".
April 15, 2009 Bad news. Chaos reigns. Also, the book is usually $12. He offers, " We can sort this out at the show if you like. I'll bring the book."
At the show I ran over to pick up the Mineral Bucks AND the book I had waited so long for (..I had forgotten this part. 10 yrs it has been). The particular one he had brought with him in that crate...
June 2, 2009 B.C., "The document I gave you was an un-corrected copy of a scanned translation from my first edition. There are some fantastic errors...".
So this is NOT a 2nd ed. according to him, though it has additions...
I had to ask him what many of the mineral photos were. Some of you wouldn't have to.

10th Dec 2019 16:35 UTCMike Menzies Expert

Very sad news….

I haven’t seen Bart for decades, but met him back in in the 1970's, saw him at several NWFM symposia and visited a few times at his house. Especially for a new collector, meeting Bart was always “an event” to look forward to - lots of useful info, interesting discussions on all sorts of topics, and treasures to see – he was very generous with his time. I enjoyed his quirky sense of humor, as exemplified by some of the names he gave to his mineral claims – Teenage Crush, Cryo-Genie and others.

I will always be grateful to Bart for giving me the lead to the Sawtooths Mountains in Idaho – a few new specimens labelled as coming from the “Finger of Fate” (a granite pinnacle that rises above Hellroaring Lake – not named by Bart, but it's a name that he could have given to it). That started my decade-long series of backpack trips into the area and resulted in my 1993 Mineralogical Record article with Russ Boggs.

Others have already commented on Bart’s hand-illustrated “Minerals of Washington”, but I still have a few of his Mineral Lists (also illustrated with his exceptional specimen sketches) from the 1980s – looking back at them today, I regret not buying many more of the specimens that he had on offer.

I'm very glad to have known him.


10th Jan 2020 18:13 UTCHouston H Claude

Late to the party. Bart, thanks for the PV+ trips, and I always loved the PVx trips, you know the + or x was never the most important thing. Getting out there was really all that mattered. Ray's books couldn't have happened without Bart's help over the years. On his behalf, I would like to say that Ray and I were honored and glad to have known Bart.

11th Jan 2020 10:45 UTCwilliam beaty

Well, damn.   I just heard.    Bart was a frequent attendee of our monthly meetings in 2019, and always trying to get me to come over to work on the dead video on one of his half-alive SEM systems.   And he still owes me $100!  (Actually, his for-pay request for electronics consulting became free consulting  ...in working on dead video display for an SEM!   But if I ever have weird alloys to get elemental analysis, Bart is all over dat ting.  Was.)

I was pushing Bart to advertise Mineral Mart more, but then started doing it myself, via my old high-traffic website at Amasci.   Buncha weirdo internet characters showed up.  Hipster millenials, in search of odd scientific paperweights.

Oh, also, when Mineral Mart rose up and tried to get Bart to ban those (very scary) chattering GM counters, and Bart refused  ...that was me.  Looking for samples of  autunitetorbernitemoanzitebetafiteuraniniteuranophanetrinitite, plus hot T. Rex fragments.  Yer odd mine tailings from Daybreak Star, coated in yellowcake.  (When Bart mentioned the complaint, I just turned the volume way down.   I also coulda used headphones.  Sheesh.  Radiation panic.)  The offenders now must all go and slather themselves with SPF five thousand, because sunlight is full of ionizing radiation, a sunburn is a radiation burn, and your geiger counter chatters furiously if the pancake detector has the old transparent mylar alpha-window from 1950, rather than the modern iron-plated opaque kind.  Hard UV makes photon-clicks in GM tubes, same as soft x-rays, hard x-rays, etc., etc.  

I tried to convince Bart to sleep with one of his 100Kcpm hot uraninite chunks under his pillow, to verify the idea-spewing mental state I'd discovered.  Wisely, he never did.  But then, neither did I.   So I still must rely on gammas to the head, taken during every commercial airline flight. ( Cosmic ray secondaries!  120x background!)   I hope Bart's basement collection of furiously hot rocks was treated with respect.   Wear gloves, then discard after moving the dust-covered boxes.  And don't freakin' lick the pretty minerals.   (If nobody knows where that collection is, well, I have about five GM counters for scanning of cardboard boxes.)

How to contact Scott Cannon?

And, what date is the March wake, mentioned above?

Also, a couple of months ago, the huge ancient  Jeol xrf in ESS (UW Geology) had a sudden massive failure, total destruction.  Being dumpstered, after bursting a major artery, and spending an unsupervized weekend with cooling-water spewing all over the electronics console interior, while still powered up.    Probably repairable, but they don't want to spend the time/$$.   And then their microprobe guy suddenly retired.

They really should buy one of Bart's..    (But need a new microprobe tech.)

Also, the UW physics dept. is thinking of starting a "maker space," now that the UW admin has thrown theirs away.  (Fluke hall maker space is dumpstered.  Idiots.)    The physics crew will eventually be looking for equipment donations.   I hope.

Tell Scott: idea! ...B. Cannon memorial electron microscope,  for student use in the physics building.  No adults allowed!  Testing of flying-saucer-crash debris will commence!

Me:  beaty@chem.washington.edu  OOOPS, old and sometimes non-working.
Instead try wbeaty@uw.edu
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