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John S. Frankenfield

John Samuel Frankenfield was born January 24, 1893 in Luzerne, Pennsylvania, the son of Emilie and John W. Frankenfield, a Philadelphia undertaker. He began collecting minerals around 1910, and lived for most of his life in the Philadelphia area, until 1941 when he and his wife Sarah moved to Glenmoore in Chester County. Frankenfield worked as a civil engineer for the Pennsylvania Railroad during World War I, and later for the city of Philadelphia until his retirement in the mid-1950's. He built his mineral collection by field collecting, trading and purchasing. He was a member of the Philadelphia Mineralogical Society, and benefitted from the many field trips organized by the Society, especially those led by the mineralogist Samuel Gordon, former curator of minerals at the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences.

Frankenfield's collection was rich in fine Pennsylvania specimens, and in specimens that Sam Gordon had brought back from his expeditions to Africa, South America and Greenland (which Frankenfield had purchased as duplicates from the Philadelphia Academy of Science). Sam Gordon considered Frankenfield's collection to be one of the finest collections of its time. Frankenfield sold his collection of 487 Pennsylvania specimens and 935 other worldwide specimens to the William Penn Memorial Museum (State Museum of Pennsylvania) in 1973 for $5000. Some of the less valuable specimens went to the Marple Newtown Senior High School in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. Frankenfield died in January 1984 in Honey Brook, Chester County, Pennsylvania.

HOFF, D.T. (1991) The John S. Frankenfield collection; a civil engineer collects a windfall for the State Museum of Pennsylvania. Rocks & Minerals, 66, 486-490.
MITCHELL, J.R. (2006) Personal communication.
U.S. World War II Draft Registration records.
U.S. Federal Censis for 1900.
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