Frederick Leslie Ransome
1997 Inductee from Mining's Past
Ransome was born in Greenwich, England, December 8, 1868, to a Quaker family. His father immigrated to San Francisco in 1870 and became a concrete industry pioneer and founder of Ransome Concrete Machinery Company. In 1896, Ransome obtained his Ph.D. in geology from the University of California, and instructed there and at Harvard University before joining the U. S. Geological Society in 1897, eventually becoming Geologist in Charge. In 1924, he became Professor of Economic Geology at the University of Arizona, a position he held until 1927, when he assumed the same title at California Institute of Technology.
As a dean of American economic geology, Ransome's papers span four decades from 1893 to 1934 and include the classical reference on numerous major mining districts of the western United States. In later years, he consulted on the geology of sites like the Hoover Dam and the Southern California Colorado River Aqueduct and wrote several notable publications on occurrences of mercury deposits.
Ransome belonged to many prestigious and technical societies, including the Society of Economic Geologists, of which he was President in 1927. He supplied many and verified all of the geological definitions in Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. Ransome's contribution to the advancement of the field of applied economic geology cannot be overemphasized. Most of his writings will never become obsolete.