University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Frederick Byron Plummer Papers, 1914-1946

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Plummer, Frederick Byron
Title: Frederick Byron Plummer Papers
Dates: 1914-1946
Abstract: Frederick Byron Plummer (1885-1947) was a Geologist in the University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology and Professor of Petroleum Engineering at the institution.
Accession No.: 69-32; 73-110
Extent: 2 ft. 7 in.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History,The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Frederick Byron Plummer (1885-1947) was a Geologist in the University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology and Professor of Petroleum Engineering at the institution from 1928 until his death at the age of 61. Plummer received his education at Dartmouth College and the University of Chicago. He worked as a consultant for the Dutch Shell Group and lectured at Vassar College before coming to teach at Texas. Plummer was best known for his research on the recovery of salt water in oil wells. Plummer’s wife Helen Jeanne Plummer was a paleontologist and research scientist in the University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology. She was considered an expert on core samples. Helen died in 1951.

Source: Briscoe Center for American History Vertical File: Plummer, Frederick Byron

Scope and Contents

The papers include Plummer's field notes, reports, academic notes, photographs and negatives and other documents related to his geological research. Specific subjects include surveys of mineral deposits in McCulloch County and ways and means of developing them; a field excursion in the San Saba-Brady region to investigate the geological formations and their classification; the recovery of salt water in oil wells of East and Northeast Texas and disposal of salt water from oil; methods and techniques of drilling for oil; and the modern conception of the geological formation of North Texas.

Approximately 50 nitrate negatives from the collection are located in offsite storage due to the volatility of the format.


Access Restrictions

Unrestricted access.

Use Restrictions

Negatives from the papers are stored remotely; advance notice is required for their retrieval. Contact repository for more information.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Plummer, Frederick Byron, 1886-1947—Archives.
Subjects (Organizations)
University of Texas at Austin. Bureau of Economic Geology
Formations (Geology) -- Texas.
Geological surveys -- Texas.
Mines and mineral resources.
Oil field brines.
Oil well drilling.
Petroleum engineering

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Frederick Byron Plummer Papers, 1914-1946, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.

Detailed Description of the Papers



3F343 Field notes:
3F344 1944-1946
Traverse notes and levels, San Saba County, Texas
4M609 Geology courses, Geology 52 and 53, Ore Deposits and Metals, 1923-1924
3J296 Reports, "Petroleum Production Practice," Parts I and II
3F345 Reports:
Report on Ordovician of Upper Mississippi Valley, 1920-1921
New Light On Buried Structures of West Texas, 1928
Geology of Quitman Valley, August 21, 1943
General Lines Specifications For Portland Cement Concrete, And How It Is Manufactured
Oil Reservoirs and Salt Domes
3T81 Photographs and negatives:
Blanco County:
Blowout Cavern
Hamilton Pool
Burnet County:
Marble Falls limestone along fault escarpment
Near view of the limestone conglomerate
Close-up view of Indian Bluff Limestone
Bluff at Marble Falls Alexander Dam site
Large blocks of sandstone
Marble Falls formation
Nodular algal deposits
White’s Crossing fault showing steeply tilted strata on the downthrow side of fault
Section through White’s Crossing fault on Bee Creek
Map of the Bee Creek district showing geology and structure of the Carboniferous formations
[Sandstone formation] Gibbons ranch
Lentil of fine-grained sandstone in Smithwick formation
Block of hard fine grain sandstone
Abandoned general store and old Masonic Hall at Old Smithwick
Smithwick Bluff
Burnet Asphalt
Specimen of asphalt rock
Rock formations in Longhorn Cavern
Travertine formation
Travertine deposits
Sketch map showing Holland Spring Area
Map of Honey Creek district
Cross-section through the algal reef on Honey Creek
Caldwell County:
Calcareous tufa forming in water disposal streambed
Water flowing over concrete tank showing algae and calcareous tufa
Mad cracks in silt deposit
Water disposal fountain showing calcareous tufa covering the rock
Near view of rosettes of calcareous tufa covering rocks
Travertine covering rocks
Contact of the Midway and Navarro formations on new Lockhart-Austin road north of Lockhart
Gillespie County:
Crustaceans from Hickory sandstone
Lange Mill grotto northeast of Doss
Calcareous tufa forming in moss-like rosettes
Glen Rose limestone
Conglomerate beds beneath the Chappel crinoidal limestone
Ledges of boulder conglomerate
Marble Falls limestone along bluffs of Saline Creek
Marble Falls limestone along bluffs of Llano River
Chaetites bed in Marble Falls limestone
Near view of a single large boulder
Ledges of boulder conglomerate along bluff of Rocky Creek
Mabry Springs on Slater Ranch
Upper ledges of Marble Falls limestone
Section of carboniferous formations showing sub-divisions
Four miles west of Lampasas on Espey Creek contact with Ellenburger
Pillar Bluff
Large boulder of Ellenburger Limestone deposited by floodwaters
Tripoli pit on the Wheeler ranch
Tripoli pit, close up outcrop
Kimble County
Lampasas County
Llano County:
Map of Llano uplift region showing areas of Carboniferous formations
Diagrammatic section across a sink developed in Ellenburger limestone
Generalized section of Carboniferous formations
Lower or main Barnett Falls
The uppermost spring on Barnett Creek
View of travertine limestone
Llano Field Trip Geology Party
Geologic section of Paleozoic and Cretaceous formations
Cascade-Wilburn’s Glen
McCulloch County:
Goniatite bed
Mississippian-Pennsylvanian Permian
Gonetidae from the Pennsylvanian and Permian Strata of North-Central Texas
Sponges of North-Central Texas
Single nodule deposit at base of Marble Falls formation
Marble Falls limestone
Falls Creek above the falls showing pool and calcareous tufa forming on limestone ledges
Peculiar erosion features of water flowing over limestone
View of waterfalls at Hamilton Pool
Overhanging resistant limestone ledge at Marble Falls
View of the Waterfalls at the mouth of Falls Creek
Close up view of the brink of the falls
Falls in Pedernales River
Marble Falls formation on Little Brady Creek
Marble Falls formation exposed in small branch
Marble Falls limestone exposed along head of small valley
Llano granite on highway between Brady and Mason
Section of rocks exposed on north side of small creek valley
Conglomerate, Rochelle near Onion Creek
Rochelle conglomerate along the roadside
Near view of Rochelle conglomerate in valley near Williams ranch
Basal conglomerate in stream valley near Williams ranch
Basal conglomerate overlying Bend in Valley of Onion Creek
Chappel limestone on branch of Brady Creek
Chappel limestone lying horizontal
Close-up view of the nodular fossiliferous limestone of Barnett formation in gravel pit
Contact of Marble Falls and Barnett formations
Thin bedded flaggy member of the Marble Falls formation
Near view of flaggy shale member of Marble Falls formation
Marble Falls formation exposed in small Branch
Marble Falls formation on Little Brady Creek
Map of Davis School District showing geological structure of the Carboniferous formations
Nodular algal deposit at base of Marble Falls formation
Mason County:
Oolite at White Ranch west of Mill Creek Road
Typical Crionid Coquina
Bat Cave grotto on the J. A. Eckert ranch
Outcrop of Massive Chappel limestone of Mississippian age
Ledge of Chappel Limestone
Barnett Shale exposed near head of small branch of Honey Creek
Typical slab of crinoidal limestone from the Chappel Formation
Near view of the conglomerate beds beneath the Chappel crinoidal limestone
Crinoidal limestone bed in Chappel formation
Smithwick shale overlain by terrace gravel
Generalized columnar section of Mason County
Chappel formation overlying Ellenburger limestone
Conglomerate in Ellenburger
Outcrop of Barnett formation
Basal Chappel (Mississippian) limestone beds
Algaeal reef in Ellenburger limestone
White’s Crossing on Llano River
Algaeal reef in Honey Creek
Algaeal reef in Ellenburger limestone
Conglomerate on south side of Algaeal reef in Ellenburger limestone
Fault on Llano River at White’s Crossing
3T82 Milam County:
Mr. Atkinson on Milam County peat bog
Peat drying on surface of Milam County peat bog
Indian artifact found in peat
Cut through peat showing peat profile and location of Indian artifact
San Saba County:
Smithwick shale
Marble falls formation of small branch
Slab of fossiliferous limestone from Smithwick formation
A Chaetites colony in lower limestone of the Smithwick formation
Close-up view of steeply tilted Marble Falls limestone
Steeply tilted Marble Falls limestone in contact with Barnett shale
Travertine deposits along Barnett Springs Creek
Water flowing over Travertine deposits
Out crop of Barnett shale exposed along highway
Spring arising from joint in Ellenburger dolomite
Travertine deposits on Barnett Springs Creek
Barnett shale with included concretionary limestone bed
Falls on Cherokee Creek
Bluff formed of chalcedony deposits
Upper falls and Thalcedony deposits
The upper chalcedony layer formed at the upper falls
Chalcedony deposits formed on the surface of Chalcedony Cliff
Travertine forming on the side of a chalcedony cliff
Simpson Creek during flood stage
Pioneer home
Reservoir on Holdman’s ranch
Artesian Well on the W. N. Neely ranch
Travertine deposits at Barnett Falls
Rattle snake resting quietly in a dry creek bed
McNalley Spring of Kirkpatrick Ranch
Brister Springs at Brister Ranch of Rough Creek
Concretion containing large nautaloid from Barnett Shale
Sciadiocrinus from the archiocadaris zone
Chappel conglomerate on Julian Mullican ranch
Cryptozooan structure in Ellenburger limestone
Algal like structure in upper massive ledge of Marble Falls limestone
Unconformity between the Marble Falls limestone and the lower Smithwick limestone
Bluff of Marble Falls limestone
Nearly complete section of Marble Falls limestone
The lower chert bearing beds of Marble Falls limestone
Steeply dipping Marble Falls limestone at fault
Cliff of Ellenburger limestone
Vertical ledges of Marble Falls limestone
McNalley Spring flowing out of joint fracture in Ellenburger limestone
Travertine bluff at Wilberna Glen
Quarry in Marble Falls limestone
Close-up view of the algal markings in the mottled limestone bed
Richland Springs Cavern
Falls on Barnett Creek, Dalton Ranch
Part of the herd of cattle on the Ben Lively ranch
Outcrop of massive Chappel limestone
Smithwick shale
Barnett shale
Lower or main Barnett Falls
Uppermost Spring on Barnett Creek
Cryptozooan like structure in travertine
Pillar Bluff
Espey Creek four miles west of Lampasas Contact with Ellenburger
Chappel on Julian Millican ranch
Pennsylvanian on Mr. Kelly’s farm
Conglomerate in the bluff north of King Spring
Smithwick – Pennsylvanian
Branch north of Barnett Springs
Marble Falls, Pennsylvanian
Neoglyphioceras caneyanum on Homan Ranch
Contact of Barnett shale and Marble Falls formation
From China Creek west of China Knob
Tracks on slab in Smithwick flagstone from China Creek
Outcrop of Barnett shale
Close-up of contact of Barnett Shale and Marble Falls formation
Marble Falls formation on San Saba-Chappel road
Marble Falls formation East side of Cherokee Creek
Lower member of Marble Falls limestone
Basal Marble Falls limestone cliff
Wallace Spring bend of Wallace Creek
Tilted ledge of Marble Falls limestone in small branch of Creek on Harkey ranch
Monument at Walnut Springs
View of Gorman Falls
Ellenburger limestone
Close-up view of Wallace Spring
Lower chert member of Marble Falls limestone
Shale layer containing crinoids in lower Marble Falls limestone
Kitchen midden on the W bank of Cherokee Creek
Small reservoir
McNalley homestead on Site of McNalley Springs
Structure on Harkey ranch
Distant view of Gorman Falls
Upper Cascade at Gorman Falls
View of Gorman Falls
Pool between cascades and lower Cascade at Gorman Falls
Miles Harris 2nd Spring on Cherokee Creek
Gorman Spring
Cottonwood Spring
Travertine dam on creek below Cottonwood Spring
Cascade over travertine Cliff on Rough Creek
Sketch map showing Geology of Barnett Spring Area
Sketch mat showing Geology of Gorman Spring Area
Map of Llano uplift in Central Texas
Waterfalls in the Creek below Barnett Springs
Another view of upper cascade at Gorman Falls
Travertine deposits below cliff at Gorman Falls
Near view of some of the spray deposits
Travertine and Stalactite deposits at Gorman Falls
View of top of upper Cascade at Gorman Falls
Creek Valley above Blue Pool
Falls on Pool branch at Blue pool
Travertine on Creek
Barnett Falls
Road crossing on Simpson Creek
Cottonwood Spring on McCoury Ranch
Mile Harris Spring on Cherokee Creek
Spring at Richland Springs
Gorman Spring
Massive limestone outcrops
Pool at Pool Ranch
Monument commemorating Indian Battle
Marble Falls on East side of Cherokee Creek
Sheep around old homestead at head of Pool Branch
Walnut Springs
San Saba Spring
Waterfalls on Rough Creek produced by deposits of travertine
Marriage Oak, San Saba, County, Texas
Travertine deposits on Rough Creek
Blue-green algae in creek on Wm. Keeney ranch
Lower travertine falls on a spring branch
Chappel Chert conglomerate on the Dofflemyer ranch
Cryptozooan like structure in Travertine
Small anticline in a bluff of Marble Falls limestone
Smithwick outcrop along the W bank of Colorado River
Slabs of Siltstone showing trails and marking of mollusks
3T83 Travis County:
Hamilton Pool
Water Falls at Hamilton Pool
Uvalde County:
Asphalt from Uvalde County
Asphalt P-1546
Asphalt rock, Uvalde quarries
Asphalt. Upper cretaceous. Plant quarry, Anachicio Limestone
Uvalde County asphalt from main quarry at bottom
Plant Quarry (Anacachio limestone)
Asphalt from Plant Quarry
Boone County, Kentucky:
Cincinnatian Formation, Ordovician
Correlation Chart—Principal countries of world
Correlation Chart—Glass Mountains, North Central Texas
Diagrammatic section across the Capital reef to show relation of the reef to related facies
Evolution of the horse
R. H. King’s fossils:
Sections of Bend, Strawn, and Canyon groups showing fossil zones
Sections of Double Mt, Clear Fork, and Wichita groups showing fossil zones
Idealized stratigraphic section showing the relation of the Phosphoria Formation in Wyoming
Map of Mexia, Powell Area, Midway outcrop, Limestone County
Map of Midway outcrop, Kaufman - Hunt counties
Map of Wilcox outcrop, Central Texas
Petroleum Engineering:
Denoi tensionometer for measuring surface tensions
Oil Sand cores showing effect of capillary action on water-oil contact
Plates and slides:
Pachylocrinus uddeni Moore and Plummer
Smithwick Ammonites
Barnett Fauna
Chappel Fauna
Marble Falls Fauna
Plummer collection
Pew Disposal System showing Skimming Pit
Ramey Water Disposal System, East Texas Oil Field
Suman Salt Water Disposal System, East Texas Oil Field
Section of Cisco, Canyon and Strawn Formation showing ammonite zones
Shale and Limestone, Fayettevill, Arkansas
Smithwick shale in contact with Marble Falls limestone
Smithwick shale on the south bank of the Colorado River
Barnett Shale
Barnett Shale exposed at pit
Cross-section of a nodule of limestone
Barnett Shale exposed along Pillar Bluff Creek
Cryptazoon proliferum
Structure of the Carboniferous Formation:
Map of Saline Cree District
Generalized section of Carboniferous and Permian strata
Sections of Carboniferous rocks in the Llano uplift
Generalized section of the Carboniferous rocks in the Llano mountains
Water Disposal Fountain showing calcareous tufa covering rock:
Close up view of tufa showing characteristic algae markings on tufa
3F347 B. F. Shumard's letter and signature
Printed material, 1914-1915, undated
Charts and graphs, Marble Falls, Texas