Published:January 01, 1952
As a Small child I went to a school kept by three old ladies called the Misses Hough, just across the street from our house in Philadelphia, JL JLwhere I received the usual education given to children of that age,” wrote Dick Penrose, in a typewritten manuscript, found among his effects. It is entitled “Memoirs” and at the top of the first page, in his handwriting, is penciled “(Rough draft) one copy. Notes dictated at odd times.” “Later,” he continues, “I went to the Episcopal Academy, which was at that time located at Juniper and Locust Streets, and was presided over by Doctor Edward Robins, one of the kindest, most sympathetic, and at the same time learned heads of a school for older boys whom I have ever met. Though I greatly respected Doctor Robins, my main recollection of the Episcopal Academy was when we boys used to start in a body around the back streets between Juniper and 13th Streets to make raids on the boys at Doctor Fairies, school on 13th Street. These were real events to us and were more important with their bruises and blows than the serious studies and prayers at the Episcopal Academy.” That he was a good student, however, and kept his “mischief” for the hours after school is indicated by a document preserved among the family treasures which reof 9.10 in Scholarship and 9.92 in Conduct, is entitled to be ranked among those Commended with Honour, at the opening of
Figures & Tables
Life and Letters of R. A. F. Penrose, Jr.
When, in the summer of 1931, Richard Alexander Fullerton Penrose Jr., died in Philadelphia, he left his personally acquired fortune, amounting to approximately ten million dollars, to be divided equally between The Geological Society of America and the American Philosophical Society. As a memorial to its benefactor and as a picture of a period in the history of American geological science, this volume has been prepared by The Geological Society of America. Beginning with notebooks, diaries, and letters in the possession of the Society, and adding thereunto material slowly accumulated from his family, his friends, his associates, and acquaintances, the story of his life has been pieced together. For members of Penrose’s profession, the geologists, this account of his life should have particular interest, for it presents a picture of a period which is gone forever, a picture of conditions under which the early investigators in geology and the mineral industry labored and brought forth the principles and methods of later days, methods more scientific, perhaps, but, nevertheless, methods founded upon the efforts of those pioneers. If one is inclined to smile at the picture of the young man of the 1880’s sitting on a bluff above a Texas river, confronted with the problem of making a survey without knowing how to go about it, let him ask himself what he would have done, similarly unequipped and in hitherto unknown territory. Let the geologist of today, with his carefully prepared field equipment, ask himself just how well he would like to look forward to “living off the country”, as Penrose did in the early days in Arkansas. It speaks volumes for the stamina of any man to be able to confront uncomfortable conditions with the nonchalance which Penrose displayed. And how much more to his credit this is, when a man is endowed by birth, position, and economic security so that he need never have left the comforts of urban living in Philadelphia.