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It's not like a big jigsaw puzzle will have the pieces missing it's you know you know we can finish it. You know you but you like to just keep trying to put a new piece in every now and then try to get as much out of. The second largest craft hobby in America today is said to be rock counting with all of its branches of interest some of which I gem cutting making jewelry and the collection of Jim stones rocks minerals and fossils. This universal hobby has grown to astonishing proportions in the last 25 years and shows signs of even more rapid growth as the need develops for more people to pursue more leisure time activities due to the fact that the working few hours have more days off and get more vacation time. Rocks and minerals are specimens that
stream important to the rock out. Of our most people do not realize the important role rocks and minerals played in everyday living. For example fluorite used in toothpaste and clothing. This series of programs is designed to give an overall picture of the rock out. Offer encouragement to the newcomer in this hobby. And present information of general interest to everyone. All of this will be examined as we explore the world of the rock calendar. Today's program is entitled travel bikes cephalopods and others. The narrator is Len folk travel bites cephalopods bracket all of them fossils but this is only the beginning of a long list of fossil types which have already been found and many others which remain to be discovered and named. There's always been
a certain element of mystery about fossils partly because some of them are so strange looking and partly because we know so little about them. At one time collectors believed that fossils possessed a supernatural powers and in primitive cultures they were used by medicine men for healing purposes to discuss this mystery and the enjoyment of fossil collecting. In today's program we present interviews with three men who are rock hands and who specialize in the collection of these strange remains which are found in the earth. First Mr. Ernest Johns beginning with his definition of a fossil fossil to the evidence of a lot of life it was a mark. You didn't want something as to how it invaded Iraq. Say something it's a hundred years old a bullet. Civil war but it wouldn't be considered a fossil because it's not enough of a threat with the eggs. But at least say 15 or 20 thousand years
old would be at least making a fossil an arrowhead would be a fossil even though it would be that maybe that old because because of age and certain things like that. Fossils go whaling back they go back as far as your five six hundred million years ago where they don't necessarily have to be something that was living room to be fastened. Not necessarily like they have found stones a nice big dinosaur skate in a stomach so sudden like to get a stone column they used in the ground if food was so they're not necessarily have to be a living piece of material. They can be and be something like that animal used even they could be scratch marks and footprints but branches have been found in sandstone of the dinosaurs and such as that which you can.
Make you find now would that be considered an Iraq on the part of Iraq. It's cute. Most fossils have been altered into rock. And very rarely do you find the original material that was that animal at Sale. But not right. Now is so important possible to use being fun to collect in a way they used in study of evolution they used in this study of ancient geography in ancient climates like it like they found magnolias in Greenland which is in corals and cold in Antarctica which demonstrate that land at one time was a much warmer than it is now. But the biggest thing at Fossil to us religion correlation and that's imagine say one body of sediments Alam stones in this area for the layers in another area say 50 100 miles farther away and get a dating him using them in sand in mineral formations. All such as that
is the how surface not the surface but underneath the surface a owl of a rock would there be fossils under every foot of ground that anybody would step on and I have a confined to certain areas now they can find molest certain areas because you have that in Canada you have a big area up they it's very ancient rock which is before set up for the fossil to even invade Iraq it's too to go too far back is to go with the fossil to be embedded in it. Then you have certain areas to either just nothing but just dirt. It's too it's just too fresh in other words no fossil say it's just been recently washed in that race in this recent sediments and in certain areas like the deep sea oceans you may be just that just as there is really no fossils of very few fossils would probably be found on the bottom because it's just not there. A lot of this.
Business about. You can't be sure can use there are a lot of speculation connected me. Well you can't ever be really sure of too many of them I mean the names change on one of you do the best you can and you still feel lucky to get half a million right. And if you go that way I will not say that less than half of them actual fossils in the world have actually been named and found they believe in. So that's if you got the part of those Hey if it had never been and never have been found and named you don't you cain't name unless you name yourself. You mean there isn't anyone you might find something that nobody had ever seen before. More likely most people don't and you never found one like that. Got quite a few of them I got at say two or three dozen maybe at least you don't think anybody anywhere is ever found anything. Well they found some pretty close to it like you take a different varieties of dogs. Well then maybe there's another one some some of the bacon they use but if you have wanted to it's a dog meat you could go to the
dog would you got one it's different from anybody else's Mavin what's what. Maybe you can place a name on it yet it's a new variety and this is the way they are that. You might call it a trial bite but it's a new type of shot a bite and you can come close to the name on it but you can get it down to the exact name because it's still a little different from the other one. Damn a something that like you said yesterday if you get tired of your collection or you get you don't want collecting money not to throw your collection away. Like what would you recommend that people do with anybody it's collecting I think I'll try to do it in the right manner I think I'm going to collect and they ought to try to at least get the geographic location of everyone they have and keep it in a box separate out put a number on it and keep a written record of them. Because when you get that everybody does eventually will get tired of it. Something will happen to them in the fossil collection they make and want to be thrown away or given away. And if that collected right to be there for some quite a bit of value to you museum a
university or somewhere like that and so they should collect it should try to get the exact geographic location like say it's down the street in a section near say it's 100 feet from white Bridges Road with a certain other road or something like it so many feet from us don't drive a bridge. And keep up with that and then later I went to the Children's Museum is one place I really like have fossil Vanderbilt University in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington really has a nice collection one of the biggest maybe might happen to look over really good really good ones I'd really like to have those. But if that was such a beautiful specimen you had yesterday that one it was perfect caught up on that you picked. Did you find out your so you picked it up at pretty close to well Ian. How would you find something like that surely wasn't just sticking up out of the ground that it was laying up on a just a small piece of Iraq invaded in the soul and that's I don't know how
big the rock was but I noticed it just bad I noticed it in the top and I took a chisel and started working with it and managed to take it out piece by piece and put it back together with glue. Oh you didn't get it in one piece. No it's fossils. Some fossils are big ones especially real hard to get out if invaded Iraq a lot of times you can even give to get a match you set like a saw and so on. Come out then away and it's hard to put it back to together with you don't violate the rules when you do that well sometimes it's better if you can see the inside of what one looks like cross-section of on it you can come close to defend it in the name on it. Does it look different on the inside. Do you see the inside or anything. They have a cross a wall some of them do internal structures like that a lot of them little walls and dividing lines in there that mean quite a bit on identifying certain ones like you called in your browser. But you have to be educated to recognize those things don't change you just walking on you think it was just you know
Rocky if you weren't looking for it and didn't know something about a fossil. Without it looks a little different from any other part of the rock thing that's the main thing you look for you don't really know what you're looking for exactly when you start off you're just looking for something is different. And none you'd out of place do you know what I mean new fat cells but oh fossils come up in new places where they might be if to go and how they're weathering and how much washing in a stream havey rain some time with collecting out of a soft dirt bank or something like a heavy rain to wash the dirt out and uncover new material on this area we went to yesterday I made a pretty good collection out of there one to four five years ago. And it's all over the University of Tennessee Anneka lection. When you say good collection How many does that mean how many specimens do you have in that collection. Good Name guess at how many was in it I would say there was three or four hundred pounds of material in it at least one PI on zone net rather than university. Paleontologist at the university came over with
a new went out and added to the collection there. When in time they were current at that time we went into the gate and got permission to go in and in very few collections that collectors had been at that at the time and we got in when the car was rationed it was really quite a bit of material laying there we got several boxes of material to get a station wagon loaded down he went back to Knoxville anyway but it is a correction better if it has ever rioting and things are a collection be better to have several at the same time so we have to go on that you had better if I like it but I know I just specialize in one type of one formation or one group or one type of fossil to some like that in a way you you can know all about everything. Its just too broad a set because just like you know all about cars its just too many cars available to find out all about all of them and you have to limit yourself somewhere and this is such you know what he did it's been going on for years and years it says and it's so much fun knowing about it
that's another thing is just. It's just not complete just to hafe waste. Yet it still not enough known about it you're going to make any conclusions completely get on it. That's when the race itself fascinating but it's not like a big jigsaw puzzle to make and the whole lot of that's what I like about it digs up over hey if the piece is missing it's you know you never can finish it and you know you but you like to just keep put on it with a new PC and have a nanny and try to get as much of it as you can. That was Mr Ernest Johns of Smyrna Tennessee one of the extremely interesting pieces in the jigsaw puzzle Mr. John spoke of might be the silver fossil referred to by Mr. Parke Param of Madison Tenn. some years ago. I forgot how long. A. Paleontologist found a. A. Not a large shell is about five inches in diameter. And the original
carbonates had been replaced by limestone and showed all the structure of the cell. In. Mineral waters. Working through the deposit that the shell was in. Replace the carbonate with pure silver. And the man saw the shell of the fossil. In this case pure silver fossil in hair and polished one side and put it on display in the Smithsonian's. It still shows all the coils and all the scepter of the differences in the compartments of the animal's body. And is one of the. Rare examples of. Mineral oil pure metal replacing. A. Carbonate. In this case. Shell of a. Lawyer. And still preserving the structure. Same thing happens in the. Petrified wood in this case petrified wood silicate replaces it would. Not in the case of silver I'm sure it has happened but I don't know of any cases.
That I've recorded that I've heard about. If. It's. Today we know it is. I guess the story of the chambered nautilus was written about. And not a lot. On Nautilus. It's an animal that lives in a shell. Each time he grows larger than the. Compartment of the shell hole and he moves forward. Or builds a wall behind him an enlarged shell in front of him and as a result these go larger and larger. He carries all of his old homes inside the shell. That was Mr. Park Param telling of a silver fossil which was originally found in Colorado. Mr. Gelb Gilbert of Nashville Tennessee finds a never ending intrigue in this have a fossil collecting also strictly a hobby I don't think you could make any money from it. What is your view. My business is invested in stocks and
bonds and sometimes in real estate sometimes in various other property where you have a lot of work with children in the rock hounding. Have you. Now some work with children but that my experience with children from working with Boy Scout and I work with some teenagers with rock. Why daddy what you done with more will mostly just collect them in a Democrat he had a big liking you think. Just a collection mainly from saloon which is Waldron shale around here. What kind of fossils in particular do you find in this area. The best fossils from the Waldron shill and I would rock your pod and travel by and you
found some of the best crime in the world from the Waldron show especially eucalyptus clan as Crassus types. I've met a crowd now and this is commonly called Seaway but it didn't apply and it's an animal. It belongs to the flower and. It's animal but it grew on a sting and it had tentacles on it which some people call on the leaves of a bird it when they want leaves us with an animal. But a lot of people confuse it with applying the same station quarry is one of the best places in the United States to get cups of this type. Newsome station quarry is one of the most famous quarries
fossils in the United States. So you might see a professor from the University of Texas law and the University of Wisconsin geology department had a field trip to the quarry in the. I would too but always in the summer from Italy. There's a woman who comes from Waldron Indiana where the well-run jail was originally named and she comes down here to further her collection of well-written shale fossils and she's really coming from the home of the well written children Newsome station to get better fossils and she invented around Waldron Indiana and this these fossils. In museums all over the world from Waldron
some of the scientific supply houses are also saying million in graduate students down here to collect from Waldron shale and one of the graduate students at Vanderbilt would spend about every other afternoon at the quarry picking up a cup to sail toward scientific supply. How much it was helping to work his way through graduate school with Vanderbilt. I've never been to a primary and having my Qari looked like what you see when you drive a kid crying. Well a quarry is just a place where the. MAN IN ROCK a Korean rocket usually just a big hole in the ground in this case the hole is about 50 feet deep in rock is exposed.
To. Four five acres in the park that we found fossils in is only a strata about four feet thick called the Waldron shale and it is under a large stone which is really what their quarry and its about 30 feet thick and it's useful in making a road Bayard's and they when their quarry in the rock they throw this well written shale which is real crumbly a way they push it back it's overburdened they push it back with the dirt and get rid of it but it's of no commercial use to him but it has all the good fossils in it. Right originally this is below the surface of the earth. At the end when they start to they can't do this longer and that's really come to the first tee.
In this particular quarry they come to about eight feet of clay which is Mississippian in age and they strip it back and then they come to bat for six feet of Waldron shale which is a kind of a calcareous Lambe stone it's not a very good land them it's not useful when they strip it back in for a little while and then they come to what they are looking for is 30 feet of nice hard Lamb's stone which makes good crushed rock for the hat ways but all of fossil hunters are looking for where they throw in the dump piles where they're throwing the Waldron Shayla. Fossils keep turning up. Do they do the car get larger. Have to vary the quarry gets larger because whenever they need more stone for an estate they go an inquiry more but it's for. Find a new species of fossils every once in a while they found a new variety that isn't known in the wild and shayla that isn't in any
age. And of course this is the big thrill of hotness defense certainly didn't in the books and every once in a while a fan of Fassel from New some station that hadn't been reported before and this is one of the thrills of trying to fan the best specimens of the whole specimens of certain types. It's getting hard to find good fossils from the wild in jail because they are not presently quarry and what so many people have looked over the quarry that they actually hunted out after a while. The Children's Museum. Field trips 100 or so people out then people coming in from the southeast part of the United States looking for fossils and you'd be surprised how they can. You pick up a whole Apostle's on the ground of the best ones the biggest ones. They're still a lot of fossils out there but it gets harder and harder until they
do some accordion and that's when the word gets out that they're going to some more quarry and then you'll see a lot of the real large rock bands out there waiting behind the grow those is the pick of our family. Sad thing about this so I don't know anything I just know that they're sensing some connection between you and a fossil in the British Museum. Now tell me the whole story. Well in April of last year I happened to be in London and my wife wanted to see if I could trade so my fossils to get rid of a lot of duplicates and. Stuff that was accumulating around the house and you give it to the British Museum for some primitive art. So we called on one of the paleontologist at the British Museum and he said yes he would be glad to have any fossils would
be able to supply him with from the wild in jail and he was very well acquainted with the world. And he took me down in the basement of the British Museum and he showed me some specimens that they had actually nice full of from new some station issued. And sure enough they had 15 to 20 parcels from the station. And he said he was positive that he would be able to get me any primitive art though because his Natural History Division at the Museum of given to primitive primitive art from the anthropological logical division of the museum but he would be glad the fossils and he would be willing to pay for he would swap them for some English fossils and I said I don't need money from there not worth anything I'll just say when I get back to you if you like them send you some
more so. About what I consider a bleak collection of bracket. This is the doctor Cox who just deals in back in sent me a nice little back thanking me request and I send him some racket. Then he sent me another letter change in the case of the bracket telling me that the books I had been using to get more to do with the book I'd been using was wrong in one case. Well that didn't work because I spent a lifetime identifying 10000 back. How did you first get interested in facts collected
fossils when I was a teen I took the building out of course under Dr Wilson and I. Fairly good fossil collection when I was in Vanderbilt and when I graduated from Vanderbilt became friendly with the geology teacher at Columbia University and eventually wound up sending the fossil collection to go into university and for 20 years I didn't look at any fossils and then my son got interested in fossils a couple of years ago at the Children's Museum and wanted to bat few fossils and I said well shoot there's no use ban fossils come out we'll go out I'll show you where we can find some bourbon lead. So for the last two or two and I've years I have been an fossil supposedly for my son but really for most because you have to kind of Grouty
like you they have that very clearly in their very life. It's an acquired taste I guess you know certainly a bad omen then is you acquire them you want to complete your collection from certain localities and when you go out fossil and it's like going on a treasure hunt going fishing you always think you're going to the perfect specimen of some that nobody else is. Gad. So different and most of the time you don't ban this but it's. Always a hope that you are real good and it also gets you out when you can do some bird watching look yet you might be bitten. Good thanks heaps Yeah. Bathroom is a good avocation.
That was Mr. Joe Gilbert Jr. of Nashville Tennessee. There are thousands of people who agree with me and that fossil collecting is a good avocation. Although it may be an acquired taste. Once acquired it lingers. The word fossil stands for in the Latin fossilised which appropriately means dug up brekky a pod comes from the Greek meaning foot and cephalopod from the Greek word which means the head for it. And just as these names go far back into the past. So does the fossil collector with each new specimen which he finds what he discovers about the past leads to a new insight into the future. This has been another in the series of programs exploring the world of the rock.
The narrator for this series is produced by the service of the public library of Nashville and Davidson County in Nashville Tennessee. Next week Mrs. Falk will discuss the fascinating aspects of this hobby on a program entitled The Yellow Submarine. This is Charles Mitchell. This is the national educational radio network.
World of the Rockhound
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Series Description
World of the Rockhound is a twenty-four part program about rock collecting produced by WPLN, the service of the public library of Nashville and Davidson County, and Nashville, Tennessee. Episodes focus on topics specific to rock hounding, like collecting, cutting, displaying, and creating artwork from rocks, gemstones, and fossils. The program also discusses broader topics related to geology, like earth science, consumer interests, and professional uses of rocks and minerals.
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Producing Organization: WPLN
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 69-4-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Duration: 00:29:44
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Chicago: “World of the Rockhound; 8,” 1969-01-31, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 29, 2024,
MLA: “World of the Rockhound; 8.” 1969-01-31. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 29, 2024. <>.
APA: World of the Rockhound; 8. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from