Pough, Frederick H. 1906-2006

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POUGH, Frederick H. 1906-2006
(Frederick Harvey Pough)


See index for CA sketch: Born June 26, 1906, in New York, NY; died of heart failure, April 7, 2006, in Rochester, NY. Mineralogist, museum curator, and author. A former curator at the American Museum of Natural History, Pough was the author of the important mineralogy guide A Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals. A graduate of Harvard University, where he did his undergraduate work and earned a Ph.D. in 1935, he completed a master's degree at Washington University. During the rest of the 1930s and 1940s, he worked at the American Museum of Natural History, becoming curator of physical geology and mineralogy from 1942 to 1952, and serving as a consultant until 1964. His well-known field guide, first released in 1953, has been revised several times since then, most recently in 1991 under the title The Peterson Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals. As a researcher, Pough was noted for discovering the mineral brazilianite in 1945, and for his experiments showing that certain gemstones change color when subjected to radiation. He applied this knowledge of radiation to gems as president of Gem Irradiation Laboratories, which he founded in 1953. Later directing the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History from 1964 to 1967, Pough was a columnist for Lapidary Journal during the 1980s and 1990s and generally worked as a consultant from the mid-1960s on. Also the author of two children's books, Our Earth: What It Is (1961) and The Story of Gems and Semiprecious Stones (1967), Pough was recognized for his scientific contributions in 1968 when the mineral Poughite was named after him.



New York Times, April 14, 2006, p. A19.