Vincent Morgan, known to collectors for many years as "Mr. Boron," was born in Los Angeles, California on September 13, 1908, the son of Mignon Keeney and Raymond Morgan, a foreman at a concrete company. He grew up in Los Angeles and attended UCLA, earning his B.S. degree in Chemistry. Upon graduating in 1937 he was immediately hired as a chemist for the Pacific Coast Borax Company (succeeded in later years by U.S. Borax). Thus began his life-long involvement with boron mineralogy and the deposits around Boron, California.
Vince became a self-taught expert in optical mineralogy in order to study and identify the many white, difficult-to-distinguish borates at Boron. He rose quickly to the position of Chief Chemist, and developed new analytical methods for dealing with the various boron compounds and associated elements in the orebodies. In his final years he served as Senior Scientist in Engineering for U.S. Borax, a Research and Development position assigned with developing new plant processes. Following his retirement in 1971 he continued to do consulting work for U.S. Borax and published a number of technical papers. During his years in Boron he provided collecting access to local mineral clubs, gave frequent slide lectures on the minerals of Boron, and inspired many young collectors and fellow employees with an interest in the local mineralogy (including California mineral dealer Rock Currier, q.v.).
Vince met Mignonette Susan "Midge" Laws (born May 6, 1905) in the late 1930's when she visited the area on a camping vacation, and they were married in 1941. (This is an extraordinary coincidence, considering his mother's name was "Mignon.") She shared his keen interest in minerals, and collected thumbnail-size specimens. She also gave him three fine sons (David, Vincent and Raymond).
Vince was a founder of the Mojave Mineralogical Society in 1941, served as President of the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies in 1955-1956, and as President of the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies in 1957-1958. He was Chaireman of the AFMS Display Rules Committee, and was an exceptionally competent judge himself. He was the co-author of the descriptions of two new species from Boron: gerstleyite and tunellite, and was an inveterate field collector. Most of his extensive personal collection of borates and associated minerals (including some of the finest known examples of their species) were self-collected at Boron and in Death Valley, and his general collection was obtained mostly by trading Boron minerals with museums, though he also occasional purchased specimens.
Vince sold his mineral collection to his subordinate at U.S. Borax, Jim Minette (q.v.), in 1991; it is still preserved in the home of Jim's wife Dawn. Midge died October 27, 1994, and Vince died February 26, 1995, at the age of 84.
MINETTE, J.W. (1995) Died, Vince Morgan, 84. Mineralogical Record, 26, 434-435,
U.S. Federal Census 1920, 1930
Social Security Death Index
California Birth Index, 1905-1995
California Death Index, 1940-1997
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2018)
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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||50 x 87 mm|
||50 x 87 mm|