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Reo N. Pickens

Reo Noble Pickens, Jr. was born in Sutherlin, Oregon on August 8, 1926, the son of Josephine Wilimine DeGroote and Reo N. Pickens, Sr. (1894-1990), a civil engineer for the Chicago Rapid Transit Company.

Reo (Jr.) was a pioneer in taking color photographs (and stereo pairs) of minerals and selling them as sets of slides, mostly to university professors in the U.S. and Canada. His first ad appeared in the September-October 1956 issue of Rocks & Minerals, offering color slides of minerals; he was even willing to rent slide sets for use in lectures. His ads in Rocks & Minerals in 1974 offered 16 x 20-inch color framing prints, sets of seventy-five 3 x 5-inch color postcards and over 1,000 different 35-mm color slides of minerals specimens. He was a regular at the Travelodge Show during the February Tucson Gem & Mineral Show for many years in the 1970s-1980s.

Reo established his Pickens Minerals dealership in 1950, based at his long-time residence at 610 North Martin Avenue in Waukegan, Illinois, offering a wide range of modestly priced world-wide specimens. After 1998 he sold specimens primarily via his website at, which is no longer online. He passed away on January 21, 2013.

U.S. Federal Census, 1930.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
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The Mineralogical Record - Reo N. Pickens Ad in the November-December 1964 issue of Rocks & Minerals.
The Mineralogical Record - Reo N. Pickens 51 x 67 mm
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