The Friends of Mineralogy (FM) is an organization devoted to the advancement of serious interest in minerals and related activities. It consists of mineral collectors, professional mineralogists and curators of public and private collections. The bond uniting these people is a love of mineral specimens and a desire to spread appreciation and knowledge of minerals. FM was formed in 1970 in Tucson, Arizona. An initial project was the establishment of The Mineralogical Record. The FM has had a close and continuing association with The Mineralogical Record and with Rocks & Minerals Magazine. One of the organization's important activities has been support of the two magazines as vehicles for the preservation and dissemination of mineralogical information. This website is for the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Friends of Mineralogy



November 3-4, 2018



In Memoriam - Pen Ambler


John "Pen" Ambler

January 28, 1936 ~ January 14, 2018

John "Pen" Ambler, 81, also known as the Bridger, of Roaring Spring, went home to be with the Lord, Sunday, January 14th at Maybrook Hills Health and Rehab Center.

He was born in Williamsport, son of the late Jesse Paul and Margaret (Magee) Ambler.  Pen married Patricia A. Romagnino with whom he shared 36 years of marriage.

Also surviving are three step-daughters:  Jeanne Elms and husband Jerry of Franklin, TN, Ann Marie Franco and husband Scott of Hollidaysburg, Kathleen DeLange and fiance Jesus M. Casanova "Chivi" of Altoona; a step-son, Michael Kuhn and wife Sharen of Hollidaysburg; fourteen grandchildren, and a brother, Thomas E. and wife, Suzanne P. of Naperville, IL.

Pen was a graduate of Mt. Lebanon High School, class of 1953; and Grove City College with a Bachelors of Science degree in Education.  He retired with 18 years of service  from the Blair County Office of Mental Health and Retardation; was self-employed with Shepards Guide; prior to that he worked on survey corps with RMB Engineers in northern Indiana.  He had been a teacher in Michigan City, IN; and he also worked for the Department of Public Assistance.

Pen founded the Blair County Rock and Mineral Club; he belonged to Friends of Mineralogy, and collected rocks and minerals for more than 50 years.

He attended Center City Church, Altoona, as well as First United Methodist Church, Hollidaysburg.

Pen always took the time to help others and if there was ever a 'need' in the MH&R office, he would see that the need was met.

Friends will be received 4-6 pm Thursday, January 18, 2018 at Sorge Funeral Home, Inc. Hollidaysburg, immediately followed by a 6pm funeral service, Pastor Jim Kilmartin and the Rev. Dr. John Godissart, officiating.  Interment will be in New Canoe Creek Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Center City Church, 801 Pleasant Valley Blvd., Altoona, PA  16602 or the Bailey House, 119 Washington Street, Harrisburg, PA 

In Memoriam - Jim Quickel


James Lavere Quickel

September 04, 1927—September 08, 2017

World War Two veteran Sgt. James Lavere Quickel (USMC) was relieved of duty on September 8th, 2017. He was born on September 4th, 1927 to James Monroe Quickel and Edna Marie (Cleaver) Forsythe in East Berlin, PA. James was married to Nadine R. (Sieg) Quickel until she passed away May 25th, 1988.

James is survived by three sons, Bradley J. (Melissa) Quickel, Sanford S. (Sandra) Quickel, and Anthony L. (Cynthia) Quickel. Along with his sons, he is survived by grandchildren Esther, Scott, Ben, Shaun, and Anthony, as well as great grandchildren Daniel, Ziva, Zara and Isla. Also living are Molly and Leah Snyder, who considered him Pappy Quickel.

James had a passion for mineralogy. His mineral collection, which ranks among the best in the state of Pennsylvania, is on display at Bryn Mawr College. Among his other achievements were being a champion rattlesnake competitor at such places as Morris, Sinnamahoning, and Cross Forks, PA. He was a revered homing pigeon competitor in the 1950s and 1960s, when he won many competitions. For many years, James served as a scoutmaster with Troop 85 in New Oxford, PA and was a Vigil member of the Order of the Arrow. His sons Bradley and Sanford achieved the rank of Eagle and Life scouts respectively, for which he was very proud of both. His grandson Anthony also went on to achieve the rank of Eagle.

James wore the title of United States Marine with great pride. He was a combat veteran in China in 1946-47. In addition to his service in China, he was also stationed as a radio operator in Guam. His memories of his service were happy, and he continued to be in contact with fellow servicemen until they preceded him in death.

Whether it was racing motorcycles or hunting, he was happiest sharing time with his sons Brad and Sandy. Their love of the outdoors formed a special bond over the years. He enjoyed nothing more than spending time at Sandy’s cabin in Cameron County or during his many trips to visit Brad in Maine. He had a great love for all three of his daughters-in-law and all of his grandchildren.

The family would like to thank the staff of the Claremont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for the incredible job they did while James was a resident.

Most Pennsylvania Geological Survey publications are available on the web for free as PDF files!

Pennsylvania Geological Survey publications

For example, Bob Smith's "Zinc and Lead Occurrences in Pennsylvania" (M72) sold for $13.50. Now you can download the report and all of the maps as PDF files at
Zinc and Lead Occurrences in Pennsylvania

Don't forget about the online "Pennsylvania Geology"
Pennsylvania Geology

USGS announces availability of every Pennsylvania topographic map ever published. Download for free at
Historical Topographic Map Collection and they are georeferenced!

Check out the July-August 2011 issue of the Mineralogical Record (vol. 42 no. 4). It contains an excellent article on the Wood Mine in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, written by Wendell Wilson. There are several photographs of amazing brucite specimens. Also included on page 314 is a photograph from the May 2010 FM-PESA field trip to the Wood Mine. George Loud is standing on the side of a trench. Is that Arnold Mogel in the trench? Who else can we recognize in the photo?

A book on the history of the Cornwall Mines in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania was written by Bob Donley from Cornwall, Pa., and Charles Boyer, a former Cornwall miner. Charles Boyer and Robert Donley were raised in Cornwall, graduated from Cornwall High School, and have been lifelong residents of the Cornwall area. Boyer is a third-generation miner with decades of mining experience, and both Boyer and Donley have a profound interest in preserving the history of the mine and community. The images presented in Cornwall are from the collections of the authors and local residents. The book is published by Arcadia Publishing as part of their Images of America series.  The book contains many pictures of the open pit mine, the underground operations, and the community.  The book is titled "Cornwall" and is sold by Arcadia publishing at  and by and Barnes and Noble.  The ISBN number is 13978-0-7385-7465-3.