Rare Geology Book, William B. Rogers, Geological Reconnoissance State of Virginia, 1836.
Item Number: Book-680
Rogers, William B.; Report of the Geological Reconnoissance of the State of Virginia. Philadelphia, Desilver, Thomas & Co., 1836. Quarto, pp. 143, folded hand colored plate of seven geological profiles.
The work is complete and in a later black cloth binding with gilt titles and the original blue title wraps bound in. The binding is tight and clean, short repair to inner front hinge. Canceled book plate of the A.M.N.H. on paste down, minor wear to folds on plate. In very very good condition.
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An American geologist, chemist and physicist, William Rogers (1804-1882) was the brother of Henry D. Rogers. Henry was the Director of the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Geological Surveys while William was first Director of the Virginia Geological Survey. The two brothers were also instrumental in the establishment of Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Virginia was the fifth state to establish a geological survey. Efforts to establish the Virginia survey came from several prominent Virginia citizens, the Geological Society of Pennsylvania and several county legislators. The survey was established in 1835 and Rogers was appointed director.
His first report was ready within nine months and published both in an abbreviated format as a Virginia State document of 52 pages and as the much more in depth work of 143 pages with the hand colored profiles which was published in Philadelphia. The expanded report contained details on the state's iron ores, sandstones, limestones, coal, granite, copper, gold, slates and other commercial ores. The report was so well received the state gave support for several more years to 1841.
During this time Rogers identified several new rock units and correlated them stratigraphically with units in Pennsylvania and New York. His work was also one of the first to apply igneous and metamorphic petrology to rocks in Virginia. Henry combined his studies in Appalachian geology with Williams and together the brothers made the first structural synthesis of the Appalachians recognizing reverse faults and inverted folds.
The 6th and final geological report published was "Report of the Progress of the Geological Survey of the State of Virginia for the Year 1840".
A seventh small paper was published in 1841 and was a plea for continuation of the survey until April 1842 with funds provided for a geological map but that plea was disregarded and the survey ended due to lack of funding with no geological map of Virginia published.
It took 34 years before Jedediah Hotchkiss, wrote a geographical and political description of Virginia. That report contained a topographical map at a scale of 24 miles to one inch on which Rogers was able to delineate the geological results of his surveys.
One can only imagine the extent of a final report if Roger's had been allowed to continue his endeavors. The format would have certainly followed the lines of the large quarto set which completed the First Survey of Pennsylvania written by Henry Darwin Rogers.