He had discovered the boundary between the crust and the layer immediately below, the mantle; this zone has been known ever since as the Mohorovicic discontinuity, or Moho for short.
We were beginning to get a vague idea of the Earth's layered interior—though it really was only vague. Not until 1936 did a Danish scientist named Inge Lehmann, studying seismographs of earthquakes in New Zealand, discover that there were two cores—an inner one that we now believe to be solid and an outer one (the one that Oldham had detected) that is thought to be liquid and the seat of magnetism.
At just about the time that Lehmann was refining our basic understanding of the Earth's interior by studying the seismic waves of earthquakes, two geologists at Caltech in California were devising a way to make comparisons between one earthquake and the next. They were Charles Richter and Beno Gutenberg, though for reasons that have nothing to do with fairness the scale became known almost at once as Richter's alone. (It has nothing to do with Richter either. A modest fellow, he never referred to the scale by his own name, but always called it "the Magnitude Scale.")
The Richter scale has always been widely misunderstood by nonscientists, though perhaps a little less so now than in its early days when visitors to Richter's office often asked to see his celebrated scale, thinking it was some kind of machine.