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Agassiz, Alexander (17 December 1835–27 March 1910), marine biologist, oceanographer, and industrial entrepreneur, was born in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, the son of Louis Agassiz, a zoologist, and Cécile Braun. Agassiz came to the United States in 1849, following the death of his mother in Germany. The domestic life of his parents had been marred by difficulties, and Alex moved to Massachusetts to join his father, who had become a professor of zoology and geology at Harvard University after a distinguished career in Europe. The American experience came at a difficult stage in Alex Agassiz’s adolescence. He hardly knew his father, who had spent much time away from home on scientific projects....

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Cist, Jacob (13 March 1782–30 December 1825), anthracite coal pioneer, naturalist, and inventor, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Charles Cist, a journalist and publisher, and Mary Weiss. The eldest son of a large, prominent family, Cist proved responsible, practical, and curious from a young age. After completing elementary school in Philadelphia, he studied for three years at the Moravian Academy (Nazareth Hall) in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, where he exhibited particular interests in geography, manufacture, and illustration. Cist became proficient at sketching in ink and in oils, landscapes and factories being among his prominent themes. He also showed a knack for writing, publishing short pieces of prose and verse in magazines and newspapers....