Frank Goldstone

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Frank Goldstone
Frank Goldstone headshot.jpg
President year 1942

Frank Goldstone (September 15, 1899- July 31, 1976) was a pioneering geophysicist. He served as the 1942-1943 SEG President.

Memorial 1976 [1]

Contributed by John Inkster

Frank Goldstone died in Houston, Texas on July 31, 1976, after a brief illness. He was born on September 15, 1899, in Whittingham, Northumberland, England to Sir Frank and Lady Alice Goldstone. After serving two years in France during World War I with the Gordon Highlanders, he entered Cambridge University and was awarded a B.A. degree in mechanical science in 1922.

He joined the Shell Group Co. (B.P.M.) in Sarawak, Borneo in 1925 as an assistant engineer, and two years later was Party Chief on a torsion balance crew in Brunei until January 1926.

Frank joined Shell Oil Co. in the U.S. as a geophysicist in January 1926. Two years later he took academic leave to attend the Royal School of Mines in London, receiving his M.A. degree in geology and petroleum engineering.

From 1929 to 1951, Frank served as Shell's first Chief Geophysicist in the U.S. Through these years he played a leading role in the development of geophysical prospecting in Shell. From 1951 until his retirement in October 1959, he held other positions in research and retired as Manager of Technical Services. For some nine years after retirement, he held consulting assignments in various parts of the world.

Through the years with Shell, Frank was dedicated to thorough basic training for new staff and was responsible for developing many outstanding geophysicists. That he personally recruited most of Shell's geophysical staff additions over the years, speaks for the high quality of Shell's geophysical operation.

Frank maintained a lifelong interest in his recruits and obtained a vicarious pleasure in their progress to positions of responsibility. Although he injected an aggressive and competitive spirit into his staff, he had a feeling of comradship with them. Many Shell employees still remember his participation and sharp competition in bridge, poker, bowling, and pool games.

Frank became a citizen of the U.S. in 1940.

He was prominent in the SEG, serving as President of the Society in 1942-43, Chairman of Trustees of the SEG Foundation administering the Society's scholarship program in 1959, and in 1968 was elected to Honorary Membership in SEG.

During some 50 years the Goldstones resided in Houston, Frank and his lovely wife, Florence, were noted for their annual open house on Christmas Day. On Christmas morning Florence, Frank, and their children Peter, Tom, and Ann were most gracious hosts to hundreds of guests. There was no mistake who was "Chief of the Ladle" in serving the famous Goldstone eggnog.

Frank was an active and loyal communicant of St. John The Divine Episcopal Church where his services were held.

Frank is survived by two sons: Frank Peter, Denver Colorado; Thomas Walter, Woodstock, New York, one daughter Elizabeth Ann Derby, Houston Texas; and one sister, Elsie Hoare, Woking, England.

Biography for SEG Presidential Candidacy 1942 [2]

  Frank Goldstone received his B.A. degree from Cambridge University, England, in 1922, and was awarded an M.A. in 1926. post-graduate work was also done at the Royal School of Mines, London, England, 1928-1929. He first entered geophysics in charge of a torsion balance field crew in Borneo in 1923, and was transferred to the United States in 1926. He has served as Chief Geophysicist of the Shell Oil Co., Inc., since 1929. In 1934 he was elected Vice-President of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (then the Society of Petroleum Geophysicists), and he was again elected to this office in 1941.


  1. Memorial GEOPHYSICS 1977 v.42 n.1 p.207.
  2. GEOPHYSICS  VOL VII, Number 1, January, 1942. page 108.

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Frank Goldstone
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