Conrad Schlumberger

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Conrad Schlumberger
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Obituary [1]

by E. G. Leonardon

Conrad Schlumberger died on May 9t.h in Stockholm of a cerebral hemorrhage, after a very short illness. He was born in Guebwiller, Alsace, in 1878. He successively attended in Paris the Ecole Polyytechnique and the Ecole ationale Superieure des Mines, from which he was graduated in 1904, as a State Mining Engineer (Corps des Mines). In 1906 he was appointed Professor of Physics at the School of Mines of St. Etienne and in 1907 he received the same assignment at the Ecole Superieure des Mines in Paris, which he retained until the beginning of the World War. He gallantly took part in the whole World War as a Captain and Major in the French artillery. In 1919 he was reinstated Professor of Physics at the Ecole Superieure des Mines de Paris, which position he resigned in 1923 to devote himself entirely to activities in the field of Applied Geophysics.

It is for his research work, discoveries, and commercial success in this field that the name of Conrad Schlumberger is particularly known to the mining and geological profession at large. After a certain amount of research work which dates from 1908 and the following years, he endeavored to apply his ideas and inventions to solving actual field problems of geology and tectonics. As early as 1913 results of great economic value were achieved, such as the discovery of the Tilva Roch ore body on the properties of the Mines de Bor (Servia). In this respect he was indisputably a pioneer who laid the foundations of the then unknown art of applied geophysics.

After the War, Conrad Schlumberger and his associates, while remaining very active in the field of surface geophysical exploration, became interested in another phase of geophysical prospecting, namely the study of the nature of the formations traversed by a drill hole, by means of physical measurements actually performed at depth in the drill hole. The usefulness of this type of investigation was soon demonstrated, in particular in connection with oil exploration and exploitation. At the present time, electrical logging is a regular feature of the drilling practice in the oil fields and is applied in almost every oil district of the world. The service rendered to the oil industry in efficiency and in saving of time and money is considerable, and Conrad Schlumberger's invention ranks among the few outstanding ones achieved in the field of oil production during the past ten years. Conrad Schlumberger was deeply interested in all questions pertaining to the oil industry. He was widely known for his competence in this field and was an active member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and of the Institution of Petroleum Technologists.

The geophysical profession and the oil industry incur an irreparable loss in his passing.


  1. Memoriam Geophyiscs, 1936 Vol I, n.2 p.296.