Trip to the Antipodes
Published:January 01, 1952
Busy with his many interests, Penrose spent the first half of 1904 in the United States, making several trips to Arizona, California, and Colorado on mining business. In July he set forth once more on his travels to see the ore deposits of the world. This time he selected for his field of study the Sandwich [Hawaiian] Islands, the Samoan Islands, New Zealand, Australia, and Tasmania, returning to New York in the spring of 1905 by way of Ceylon, the Suez Canal, and Europe. While he was away, he received the following letter from J. A. Holmes, chief of the Department of Mines and Metallurgy in the Division of Exhibits at the St. Louis Exposition of 1904: My dear Penrose:- I am extremely anxious to have you serve on the International Jury of Awards in the Gold Section of the Department of Mines and Metallurgy, between September ist and 10th, and I sincerely trust that you will not fail of accepting the appointment which is hereby sent to you. You will meet a delightful party of men, representing mining and metallurgical industries of this and some foreign countries, and you will not find the work either long drawn out or tedious; your railroad fare, including sleeper to and from St. Louis will be paid, and there will be an allotment of $7.00 per day to cover your expenses while you are engaged in this work in St. Louis.
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.