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Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM


MODRESKI, Peter J., U.S. Geological Survey, MS 150, Box 25046 Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225,

The first lists of minerals found in Colorado were compiled as part of reports on its early mining industry by O.J. Hollister, 1867; J. P. Whitney's list of ores and specimens exhibited at the 1867 Paris Exposition; the 1869 and 1872 catalogues of the Robert Old collection of the Colorado-British Mining Bureau; J.A. Smith, 1870; and J.S., Randall, 1877. These were soon supplemented by a mineralogical catalog prepared by F.M. Endlich (1878) as part of F.V. Hayden’s U.S. Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories.

Among the founders of the CSS its three original officers, S.F. Emmons, Richard Pearce, and Whitman Cross all made notable contributions to mining and minerals in Colorado, and minerals were named after each of them. Cross and W.F. Hillebrand, the first two CSS Honorary Members, coauthored several papers on Colorado minerals from Pikes Peak and the Table Mountains. Some 24 minerals have been named after CSS members over the years, of which 19 remain as valid mineral species.

Through donations and purchases the CSS amassed a considerable collection of minerals, fossils, rocks, and ores, originally (1882) housed at the USGS offices in Denver and then at various locations throughout the city. After sojourns with the State Bureau of Mines and State Historical Society, the majority of the collection now resides at the Colorado School of Mines Museum; some rock samples dating to S.F. Emmons’ collections plus gold and meteorite specimens are at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

A landmark in Colorado mineralogy was publication in 1961 of Minerals of Colorado: A 100-Year Record by Edwin B. Eckel as USGS Bulletin 1114; “A summary of the first 100 years of published knowledge, including the chief occurrences of 445 mineral species”. Eckel (1906-1989; CSS President 1950-51) prepared this as a labor of love, working many late hours doing literature research in the USGS library. A follow-up to his book was Minerals of Colorado by Edwin B. Eckel, “Updated and Revised” in 1997 by 6 coauthors (Cobban, Collins, Foord, Kile, Modreski, Murphy, plus the help of many others) variously representing the USGS, Denver Museum of Natural History, and the Colorado Chapter of Friends of Mineralogy; advancing the total number of minerals described from Colorado to 774.

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