A Passion For Gold: An Autobiography by Ralph J. Roberts

By Ralph J. Roberts

Ralph Roberts's isn't really a family identify in Nevada, however it should still be-it used to be he who came upon the Carlin Belt gold deposits that created an important mining growth within the country within the final 4 a long time of the 20th century. yet this discovery was once just one episode of his remarkably eventful existence. a fondness for Gold is Roberts's account of that lifestyles, a narrative as colourful and adventurous as that of any fictional hero. Roberts's engagingly instructed autobiography strains his existence from its beginnings in jap Washington country to his popularity as a world-renowned geologist, skillfully alternating own reports with the advance of his figuring out of the constitution of Nevada's geology and the forces that formed it. His fascination with ore-bearing minerals resulted in an extended and effective occupation with the U.S. Geologic Survey, which took him to prolonged postings in significant the United States and later to Saudi Arabia, the place he was once instrumental within the redevelopment of the traditional gold mines at Mahd adh Dhahab, potentially the location of the biblical Ophir. yet he lower back time and again to Nevada, intrigued by way of its geological complexity and the valuable minerals that lay hidden underneath its convoluted surfaces, and was once all for the advance of a few of the state's most important gold-mining parts. Roberts's account conveys his abiding enthusiasm for the methods of geology, and his eye-catching textual content permits his reader to proportion and remember that enthusiasm. His tale is that of a geologist of surprising astuteness, a guy whose specialist successes have been basically a part of a existence marked through devotion to family members and an unremitting interest in regards to the global and other people round him.

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Tobin quadrangles. Authorship was assigned on the basis of the principal contribution of each person. The Antler Peak quadrangle, called the fifteen-minute quad- Sonoma Range, 1939–1942 37 rangle because it used a scale of 1:62,500, was separately mapped because it contained the major ore deposits in the Sonoma Range quadrangle. This was my responsibility, and I later used the project for my doctoral dissertation at Yale. The mapping of the Paleozoic rocks led to the most important project of my early career—the definition of the Paleozoic facies that, by magical chance, just happened to be best developed in north-central Nevada.

Foster Hewett, chief of the usgs Metals Branch. Foster’s interests included mineral economics. Several years before he had foreseen shortages in strategic minerals and had formulated a plan to study the occurrences of those elements, as well as such commodities as mica and quartz, in the Western Hemisphere. C. The support he received there smoothed the way for Congress to pass a funding proposal for evaluation of deposits of these 36 A Passion for Gold materials. He had started several projects to evaluate the deficiencies, and I had previously worked on two dealing with manganese—one in Arizona with Sam Lasky and another in Washington’s Olympic National Park.

Courtesy of M. A. Bowman. My dad worked on his parents’ wheat farm as a boy, plowing, seeding, and harvesting wheat, loading wagons with two-bushel sacks of grain—each of which weighed about 120 pounds. But he decided not to become a farmer himself. About 1906 he entered the Washington State College School of Pharmacy. In 1908 he felt ready to get married. Fig. 3. Author’s parents, Halcot E. and Eva B. Roberts, ca. 1915. Fig. 4. Author at age four, Rosalia, Washington. The Early Years, 1911–1939 15 He didn’t have to look far for a wife; he and Eva Boozer had grown up together and gone to school in Rosalia, a town where everybody knew everybody.

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