Florence Bascom (1862-1945) was a USGS field geologist who trained a subsequent generation of earth scientists at Bryn Mawr College. Recent literature on the history of women in science has identified several of them, including Ida Ogilvie, Eleanora Bliss Knopf, Anna Jonas Stose, and Julia Gardner. By contrast, Mary W. Porter (1886-1980), who went on to become a crystallographer at Oxford, is virtually unknown. Both Bascom and Porter studied crystallography in the laboratory of Victor Goldschmidt (1853-1933) at the University of Heidelberg. A fifteen-year segment of the decades-long correspondence among these mutual friends reveals the personal significance of Goldschmidt, his wife, and Porter to Bascom; the enabling roles that Bascom and Goldschmidt played in the education of Porter, who had had little formal schooling; and some effects of the First World War on the science of crystallography in Germany, England, and the United States.

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