Collecting Fossil Plants and Animals
in the Pennsylvanian Deposits of the Will County, Illinois Coal Measures
The Field Notes of George Langford, Sr. in the Years 1937-1960.
Prepared and organized by George Langford, Jr., 1973.
Copyright George Langford, III, 2010
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Packing
Each developed specimen has a piece of soft paper between the two halves.  It is rolled up in paper and packed in a pasteboard carton with protective packing paper around it.  Each carton holds from twenty-five to seventy pounds of specimens.  The cartons are ready for shipment by truck or rail.  Each carton is marked with letter and number, and there is a list showing what is in each carton.  Some of the specimens weigh only a few ounces.  The largest weigh from five to fifteen pounds each.  There is a great economy of weight in these fossils, for most of them are tailor-made, the stone being closely fitted to the plant inside of it.  Unlike most fossil specimens, each nodule really comprises two specimens, a positive and a negative, and it is an interesting fact that in a great many cases, the two halves are not duplicates.  One half may show the outside, and the other half, the inside of the stem, fruit, or whatever else the nodule contains.  With only a few exceptions, bark patterns, each specimen consists of two split halves.
[unsigned, but in the handwriting of] George Langford, Sr.

Animal Forms
The great incentive to collecting has been the occasional discovery of an animal form.  None of them are common, although some of them are more common than others.  It took about fifty days of hunting to find one small, winged insect, and over one hundred days to discover a fine insect wing.  My first beetle-like Elytron consumed over three hundred days; and a magnificent, giant spider, four hundred days.  Results like these might discourage collecting, were it not for the fact that the small fossils are beautifully preserved and represent the first of their kind, as far as is known.  But spending four years of one's life running down a spider is a sad reflection on one's mental equilibrium.

There is so much of the common stuff and so many blanks, that the only way to get at good or rare specimens is by large production.  Splitting one thousand nodules a day is a fair average.  But knowing what not to split often is my greatest aid to production.  Many blank nodules look promising, and splitting them open is just that much more trouble for nothing.

[unsigned, but in the handwriting of] George Langford, Sr.