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Fred Roberts

Frederick C. Roberts was born in Missouri on November 7, 1914, the son of Matilda H. Stempler and Fred C. Roberts, Sr., a painter, decorator, and real estate agent. They appear on the 1920 census for St. Louis, Missouri; by 1926 Fred Sr. had moved to Monterey Park, California, but as of 1930 Fred Jr. was still living with his grandmother, Mattie Collins, in St. Louis. By 1936 Fred Jr. had joined his parents in California. The 1936 and 1942 voter registration rolls list Fred Sr. (with wife Matilda H.) as a "decorator" and Fred Jr., at the same address, as being in the "novelty business."

Frederick C. Roberts, Jr. began advertising in the March 1945 issue of Rocks & Minerals, as "Roberts & Stevens," at his parents home at 1106 W. Newmark in Monterey Park, California. The identity of "Stevens" is not known for certain, but the only registered male Stevens in Monterey Park in 1942 was Kyle M. Stevens (an electrician) and his wife Martha; they no longer appear in 1948 and thereafter.

They first offered aragonite specimens from Bisbee, howlite from California, Death Valley minerals, fluorite crystal groups from Illinois, and selenite and cassiterite from Mexico. In 1946 they offered barite crystal groups from California (probably Palos Verdes), and old-time specimens of mammillary hematite that had been imported from Cumberland, England in 1919. In June 1946 the size of their ads increased, more minerals were offered, and they invited customers to "stop by and see our new enlarged showrooms." Offerings of "fine mineral specimens" included scorodite from Utah and realgar/orpiment from Utah. They were open "day and evenings, including Sundays."

By September 1946, Stevens had left and ads thereafter were by Fred Roberts, Jr. ("formerly Roberts & Stevens"). He advertised "a new large stock of cabinet specimens" as well as fluorescent minerals, cutting rough and supplies. In 1947 he began offering the Roberts Mineral Drawer Cabinet, a four-drawer cabinet designed specifically for thumbnail and miniature specimens. He also offered study collections of thumbnail specimens priced at 5 and 10 cents each. His last ad appeared in the November-December 1948 issue. Fred Sr. was still living at the same address in 1952, but Fred Jr. had moved to Calabasas Precinct in Los Angeles County, and had taken a wife, Marilyn L. Fred Jr. died in Arcadia, California on January 30, 1994.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
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The Mineralogical Record - Fred Roberts Ad in Rocks &Minerals, November 1947.
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