1983 Charter Member, Mining's Past
Waldemar Lindgren was born February 14, 1860, at Kolmar, Sweden. He graduated from the Freiberg Mining Academy in 1882 with a degree in Mining Engineering and later took graduate work in metallurgy and chemistry. In June 1883, Lindgren immigrated to the United States of America and worked briefly for the Transcontinental Survey for the Northern Pacific Railroad. In 1884, he began designing smelter furnaces for Marcus Daly and The Anaconda Company.
In 1884, he joined the United States Geological Survey, where he worked as a geologist for 31 years. During this time, he authored or co-authored numerous landmark geological papers dealing with major mining districts of the Rocky Mountain states. He was one of the founders in 1905 of the publication Economic Geology. In 1905, Lindgren was chosen to head the section devoted to precious and semi-precious metals. In 1908, he became Chief of the Division of Metalliferous Geology, and in 1911, he was appointed Chief Geologist of the U.S.G.S. Lindgren’s extensive studies of mineral deposits in the western states established the igneous sources of many minerals and clarified the methods by which minerals are deposited.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology invited Lindgren to lecture in 1908. In 1912, he left the U.S.G.S. and became Professor of Geology and Head of the Department of Geology at M.I.T. He remained in this position until 1933, when he became Professor Emeritus. During his time at M.I.T., he wrote the classic Mineral Deposits, first published in 1913, with subsequent editions published in 1919, 1928 and 1933. He died November 3, 1939 in Brighton, Massachusetts.