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Abstract

When one of the writers of this paper suggested that the Refraction Volume should contain an article on the refraction practices in the early days, it was with the idea that it would be written by one of the old-timers who had been on the refraction scene in the mid-twenties. When the suggestion backfired and he was asked to participate in writing the paper he accepted, assuming that a sufficient number of excerpts could be taken from the best of the early papers to create reader interest in the subject, and references to the papers would complete the job. Unfortunately, he was wrong again. After a search of the literature, it became apparent that no papers were written, at least none were published, during the heyday of the early refraction work and very little regarding that work was published later. Therefore, much of the information contained in this paper is based on memory of discussions through the years with some of the old-timers, plus recent interviews with, and the suggestions of, a few who were engaged in the refraction activities of thirty to forty years ago.

The first papers found on the subject were by Barton (1929) and Heiland (1929). A part of the discussion on Heiland's paper by Rieber points out the paucity of published information at that time. It reads, “Dr. Heiland appears to have drawn the material for his excellent paper largely from experience with earthquake seismology, including, of course, such direct adaptations of earthquake instruments as

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