Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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ASHBURNER, Charles Albert, geologist, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 9 February 1854. He was graduated at the University of Pennsylvania in 1874, ranking first in his class. During the summer of 1872 he was engaged on the survey of Delaware river, and on his graduation he accepted a place in the light-house survey service. In 1874 the geological survey of Pennsylvania was reorganized with the appointment of Professor J. P. Lesley as state geologist, and Mr. Ashburner at once resigned from the United States service to become an assistant on the survey. He was actively employed during the latter part of 1874 in the surveys of Mifflin and Juniata cos., and in 1875 was appointed assistant geologist, with charge of the surveys in McKean, Elk, Forest, and Cameron cos. In 1880 he was appointed geologist in charge of the survey of the anthracite coal fields, where he originated a method for surveying and representing the geology of this great coal-bed which has received the approbation of mining engineers and geologists both in the United States and in Europe. The ability and skill with which this undertaking was performed led to his being appointed in 1885 geologist in charge of all the office and field work of the survey. Mr. Ashburner is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Institute of Mining Engineers, and other scientific societies, to whose proceedings he has contributed valuable papers. He has also contributed to the scientific and technical journals, and prepared more than twenty of the reports of the geological survey.
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