Saturday, June 04, 2005

Sunday, April 03, 2005

New Link Added

I have just added a link (left side of this page- at the top of the column titled "Some Sites of Interest") to Cornell University's Plant Pathology Herbarium Photograph Collection. Their collection has some wonderful historical images, and is well worth viewing.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Number 13 - Name That Botanist

By Childe Hassam, 1892

Here is a little twist on the "Name That Botanist" series I've been offering. This 1892 Childe Hassam painting illustrates the mother of a botanist in her garden on Appledore Island (Isles of Shoals), off the coast of Maine. She was an important American poet, and is the subject of a most interesting webpage concerning her style of dress in a circa 1858 CDV at which time she may have been pregnant with the botanist in question. Our fellow was born in Newton, Massachusetts. His mother was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She is the subject of many webpages.

Click here to see a 1919 letter from her son to University of Connecticut botanist George Safford Torrey. The letter mentions the Entomophthora, a favorite group of our subject. He also was expert on the Laboulbeniales. He studied at Harvard under William Gilson Farlow, and after a brief sojourn in plant pathology at the University of Connecticut returned to the Harvard faculty in 1891. This letter was written during his first year of retirement from the active faculty at Harvard, and displays his new title of "Professor-Emeritus and Honorary Curator of the Herbarium and Laboratories of Cryptogamic Botany". He has been called the greatest mycologist of his time (Mycologia 25:69-89, 1933). This seems to be an example of hereditary excellence - by no means a unique case in the botanical world (DeCandolle, Michaux, Hooker, Bessey, Eaton, J.W. Bailey, to name but a few); although the fact that their high achievements were in such different disciplines is unusual.

here for some additional biographical information and a photograph.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

COMING SOON! - The Beck Brothers of Schenectady

Soon to be posted: A look at the 19th Century scientific Beck brothers of Schenectady, New York

John Brodhead Beck
Lewis Beck
Theodric Romeyn Beck

Keep an eye on Historica Botanica!

Number 12 - Name That Botanist

Click on image to enlarge
This albumen carte-de-visite is attributed to New York photographer A.W. Jordan. The sitting can probably be dated to the early 1870s, the decade during which he flourished, and near the end of the life (1796-1873) of the subject- illustrious American botanist, Professor of Chemistry, and Assayer of the U.S. Mint.

Click HERE for the ID

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Number 11 - Name That Botanist

Click on image to enlarge

This English mycologist, cleric, and Fellow of the Royal Society has here been photographed circa 1865. Born on April 1, 1803, he died July 30, 1889. He described the fungi of the Wilkes Expedition, the H.M.S. Challenger, Charles Wright's North Pacific Exploring Expedition, Darwin's Beagle voyage, and many more from South America, the Arctic, Australia, Africa and every corner of the globe. He has left us a large body of published work. If you haven't already solved it, perhaps you can match him up with his photo of some 20 years later, shown on the "CYBER-TRUFFLE'S FUNGAL VALHALLA (PORTRAITS OF MYCOLOGY'S LATE GREATS)" site, linked to on the left hand column of this page.


Click here for his ID.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Happy New Year From George Lincoln Goodale

Here is a New Year's greeting from Harvard botanist and Asa Gray protégé, George Lincoln Goodale, to Charles Eliot Norton from 1896. He thanks Norton for the paper by Edouard Piette (1827-1906), probably his Les plantes cultivées de la période de transition au Mas d’Azil which appeared in l’Anthropologie, vii, no. 1 1896. Mas d'Azil is the paleolithic cave site in the Pyrenees excavated by Piette. Goodale is perhaps best known for having been instrumental in bringing the Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants to the Botanical Museum of Harvard.

Click on image to enlarge


Saturday, December 25, 2004

Christmas Greeting From Ruth Ashton Nelson and Memoriam to Aven Nelson

The following 1952 Christmas card was found tipped in to a first edition (1909) copy of the New Manual of Botany of the Central Rocky Mountains (Vascular Plants) by John M. Coulter; revised by Aven Nelson.

Ruth Ashton Nelson, Aven Nelson's wife, was some 30 years his junior, and also a botanist who specialized in the flora of the Rocky Mountains.

Happy Holidays from Historica Botanica!

Click on the images to enlarge.