Chester Stock (1892-1950) was professor of paleontology, 1926-1950, and chairman of the Division of Geology, 1947-1950, at
the California Institute of Technology. He was a specialist in vertebrate, specifically mammalian, fossils of the Western
United States, especially of California and Nevada, and he was involved in the excavation of the Rancho La Brea tar pits in
Los Angeles. Stock's papers consist of personal and professional correspondence from his tenure at the University of California,
Berkeley (1919-1921), and from the subsequent period at Caltech up to the time of his death in 1950. Also included are geological
field notebooks belonging to Stock and others from the period 1900-1920.
Chester Stock was born in San Francisco on January 28, 1892. At the University of California, where he received a B.S. degree
in 1914 and a Ph.D. in 1917, Stock studied geology and vertebrate paleontology under John C. Merriam. In 1918, he began working
on the Rancho La Brea (now Hancock Park) collection of ground sloths, saber-tooths, and other fossil bones, housed at the
Los Angeles Museum of History, Science, and Art, in Exposition Park. Starting as Merriam's assistant in 1917, Stock advanced
through the ranks to become an assistant professor in 1921. That year Merriam left Berkeley to become president of the Carnegie
Institution of Washington and Stock took over Merriam's teaching duties in vertebrate paleontology.
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