Benjamin Martin Shaub Papers
Benjamin M. (Benjamin Martin) Shaub was a professor of geology at Smith College from 1931-1958. He was a vital member of the Smith faculty, an authority in the fields of economic geology and gemology, and an enthusiastic follower of many other pursuits including ornothology and photography. Shaub remained an important presence in his many areas of interest until his death on March 23, 1993.
Shaub was born January 12, 1893 in Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania, received his elementary education in a one-room school house there, then moved to Ithaca, New York, where he worked for a railroad while earning his high school diploma. He went on to earn a Master of Engineering degree in 1923 from Cornell University and began teaching there in machine design, first as an instructor (1923-1929) then as an assistant professor (1930-1931). In the meanwhile, however, he gained another interest-geology. While teaching at Cornell, he received an M.S. (1928) and a Ph.D. (1929) in economic geology. In 1931 he left Cornell to teach at Smith College as an associate professor in geology, where he specialized in mineralogy, petrography, petrology and gemology until his retirement.
Professor Shaub's academic and practical experience were geographically as well as topically diverse. He spent summers doing geological fieldwork in several states in the northeastern United States, and also spent one season at the Rhodesian-Anglo American Mines in Africa (1929). He was the vice president of Morse-Shaub Oil and Gas Corporation from 1931-1936. He served in World War I as an instructor at the Naval Radio School at Harvard University, and served as the U.S. Army major responsible for the Springfield Ordinance District during World War II. He held two U.S. patents, one for an engineering drawing instrument and the other for a photometer. He held fellowships in a number of geological societies, published regularly in the scholarly journals, and produced several full-length works.
Following his retirement from Smith in 1958, Shaub continued to write about geology and the photography of rocks and minerals. Of particular note are his full-length works including Treasures from the Earth (New York: Rutledge, 1975); and The Origin of Agates, Thundereggs and Other Nodular Structures (Northampton, MA: Agate, 1989). Shaub also pursued an interest in ornithology with his wife, Mary Church Shaub (Smith College, Class of 1934). Together they wrote a number of articles on the subject and produced five years worth of The Evening Grosbeak Survey News (1950-1955), a newsletter for western Massachusetts bird enthusiasts.