Antoine M. Gaudin His Life And His Influence On People

Spedden, Rush H.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1976
Antoine M. Gaudin was a vigorously creative man and throughout his career an internationally respected leader of his chosen profession of mineral engineering. To his professional colleagues and clients and to his former students he was both "Professor Gaudin," their wise, inspiring, and enthusiastic teacher, and "Tony," their warm and beloved personal friend. Thus, his teachings and his unique inquisitive-creative approach to problems live on and grow in the accomplishments of his students. Antoine Gaudin was born at the turn of the century in Smyrna, Turkey, where his father was general manager of a French-owned railroad. It was there that he spent his earliest years, literally in the shadow of classic marbles from diggings at the site of Aphrodesias, which his father had rediscovered. From this, Tony developed an appreciation of the arts. He eventually surrounded himself with art treasures; he reveled in the beauties of nature, and he cherished his choice collection of rhododendron and azaleas. His artistic traits led him to take up painting when his daughter, Elinor, sought his help in blending her tints for a water color. In typical fashion he was not satisfied until he had become adept with pastels in capturing the muted tones of distant landscapes and the technical properties of light and color. Unfortunately not many paintings were produced. His paternal grandfather was Marc-Antoine Gaudin, for many years secretary of the Academie des Sciences in Paris, and a well known chemist and mineralogist whose primary interests included the synthesis of precious stones. In an autobiographical sketch written in 1939, Dr. Gaudin recalled: "As a child I saw many of the original synthetic sapphires and rubies which my father had inherited. This, coupled with my father's avocation of mining ventures and archaeology, early decided that I would become connected with the mineral industry." One can speculate that the archeological activities of his father, the mineral systhesis experiments of his grandfather, and his own early studies of mineralogy and geology formed a base from which his special talents as an experimentalist were to develop. Laboratory research under Professor Gaudin's personal guidance was often an intensive, fast- moving, and exciting experience--especially to a new graduate student. First of all, Professor Gaudin was a highly skilled observer with seem-
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