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Frank B. Schuyler

Frank Barlow Schuyler was born in Falls City, Nebraska on August 20, 1872, the son of Ann Francis Barlow and John Schuyler, a machinist and manufacturer of mechanical tools. He took up the same occupation as his father, and married Ella S. Libby in San Luis Rey, California in November 1894; they had a son, Gerald Barlow Schuyler (1897).

In March of 1903, Schuyler and D. G. Harrington of Oceanside were exploring for pegmatites on Pala Chief Mountain in San Diego County when they came upon a rich tourmaline-bearing pocket zone; they claimed the deposit, naming it the Tourmaline King mine. In 1904 they began constructing an underground drift into the pegmatite immediately below the point of the surface discovery. Several years later and no more than 60 feet underground, a huge tourmaline crystal-filled pocket was discovered, which extended nearly 30 feet in length, averaging 10 feet in width, and was continuous for up to 30 feet down dip. This single pocket zone produced nearly 8 tons of pink tourmaline, consisting of many exceptionally large and deeply colored crystals, most of which were sold to the Imperial Chinese government for a then substantial price of $187.50 per pound. One such shipment contained 16 powder boxes full of large pink tourmaline crystals.

California mineral dealers Albert Everett and Robert Max Wilke both purchased specimens from Schuyler's big pocket; Wilke acquired some of the largest tourmalines found on matrix for display in both his personal collection, and for major museums in the United States and Germany. These specimens were carefully repaired by Wilke.

At the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, Schuyler exhibited and sold tourmaline gems and specimens obtained from his mining operation at the Tourmaline King mine; the motto for his marketing campaign was "Wear a tourmaline for luck."

Around 1916, Wilke purchased the patent grant deed from Schuyler, in order to work the deposit for himself. That marked the end of Schuyler's involvement at the Tourmaline King, and Wilke is thought to have found considerable amounts of lepidolite, morganite, tourmaline and kunzite before abandoning the workings around 1922.

Schuyler lived most of his life in the Berkeley, California area, at 2237 Haste Street from 1908 to 1912, then at 2452/3 Martinez Avenue in 1912-1916, but by 1920 had moved to nearby Ocean View at 1035 Euclid Avenue and at 740 Alameda. In 1924 he lived at 3120 Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, and in 1926 he was living at 1892 San Juan Avenue in Berkeley. In 1913 he filed a patent on a gas heating device for termpering metals. He does not appear in records after 1926.

U.S. Federal Census, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920.
California Voter Registration Records, 1900-1968.
Mindat MS-4500.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
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The Mineralogical Record - Frank B. Schuyler 64 x 101 mm,
Schuyler's calling card from the 1915 Panama-Pacifix International Exposition in San Francisco, used as a specimen label (note pencil inscription).
The Mineralogical Record - Frank B. Schuyler The most famous specimen found by Schuyler at the Tourmaline King mine, "The Steamboat," collected around 1907 and sold to Washington A. Roebling; it is now in the Smithsonian Institution.
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