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Ames, Blanche Ames (18 February 1878–01 March 1969), artist and women's rights activist, artist and women’s rights activist, was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, the daughter of Adelbert Ames, a Civil War general and governor of Mississippi during Reconstruction, and Blanche Butler, whose father was a general and governor of Massachusetts. The younger Blanche graduated from Smith College in 1899 with diplomas from both the College and the School of Art....

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Anthony, Harold Elmer (05 April 1890–29 March 1970), mammalogist, museum curator, and author, was born in Beaverton, Oregon, the son of Alfred Webster Anthony and Anabel Klink. His father, a mining engineer and amateur ornithologist and collector, encouraged the boy’s interests in natural history. Anthony was an avid hunter, as were other lads in his community, but he early evinced an interest in preserving small mammal and bird skins for further study. Educated in the local public schools of Portland, Oregon, Anthony attended Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, for one year (1910–1911)....

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Audubon, John James (26 April 1785–27 January 1851), naturalist and artist, was born Jean Rabin Fougère in Les Cayes, Santo Domingo, the son of Captain Jean Audubon, a French sea captain, planter, and slave dealer, and Jeanne Rabin (or Rabine), a young Frenchwoman employed as a chambermaid on the island. The traditional view, that Mlle Rabin was a Creole woman native to Santo Domingo, has been disproved. Audubon’s mother died before he was seven months old, and the child was cared for by another mistress of the father’s with whom he had several children. In 1791, fearing worsening conditions in Santo Domingo, Captain Audubon arranged for his son and a younger daughter by his mistress Catherine “Sanitte” Bouffard to be taken to France. There both were well cared for by Captain Audubon’s legal spouse, Anne Moynet Audubon, who had no children of her own. Both children were formally adopted by the couple in 1794, as was required if they were legally to inherit Captain Audubon’s name and property, and were baptized in 1800. At this time the boy received the name Jean-Jacques Fougère Audubon....

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John James Audubon. Lithograph in Gallery of Illustrious Americans, 1850. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-28111).

Article

Draper, John William (05 May 1811–04 January 1882), scientist, educator, and historian, was born near Liverpool, England, the son of John Christopher Draper, an itinerant Wesleyan minister, and Sarah Ripley. Draper attended a Methodist grammar school and completed his premedical studies at University College, London, immersing himself in the philosophies of Benthamism and positivism, to which he would return later in life....

Article

Fowler, Orson Squire (11 October 1809–18 August 1887), phrenologist and publisher, was born in Cohocton, Steuben County, New York, the son of Horace Fowler, a farmer, and Martha Howe. He was graduated from Amherst College in 1834 and in 1835 married Eliza Brevoort Chevalier, a widow, by whom he had two children. Though educated for the ministry, he devoted himself to phrenology, the “science” of the mind that was formulated by Franz Joseph Gall and introduced to the United States by Johann Gaspar Spurzheim. Phrenology postulated that, because the brain was the organ of the mind and shaped the skull, there was an observable concomitance between the mind (talents, disposition, character) and the shape of the head. In an analysis, a phrenologist examined the latter to determine the former. Immediately after graduation Fowler started his professional career as itinerant practical phrenologist in New England. Using charts and a phrenological bust, he lectured on phrenology and analyzed heads, sizing “organs” or “faculties” such as amativeness, combativeness, firmness, and ideality to determine character. It was believed that each faculty manifested itself through its own cerebral organ, the size of which indicated its functional power. The size of the organ, it was believed, could be increased or decreased by exercise....

Article

Fuertes, Louis Agassiz (07 February 1874–22 August 1927), artist, naturalist, and scientific illustrator, was born in Ithaca, New York, the son of Estevan Antonio Fuertes of Puerto Rico, a professor of civil engineering at Cornell University, and Mary Perry of Troy, New York. Named after but unrelated to the great nineteenth-century naturalist Louis Agassiz of Harvard, Fuertes was the youngest in a family of six. He traveled widely throughout the world but always considered Ithaca his home....

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Goode, George Brown (13 February 1851–06 September 1896), zoologist, museum administrator, and historian of science, was born in New Albany, Indiana, the son of Francis Collier Goode, a merchant, and Sarah Woodruff Crane. Goode’s mother died just eighteen months after his birth, and he was raised by his father and stepmother, Sally Ann Jackson. In 1857 his father retired to Amenia, about 100 miles north of New York City. Family study and private tutors prepared Goode for entrance into Wesleyan College in Middletown, Connecticut, from which he graduated with an A.B. in 1870. He attended the Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard University and apparently spent some time in ...

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Taylor, Frank Augustus (25 March 1903–14 June 2007), historian of science and technology and museum administrator, was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Augustus Carrier Taylor, a pharmacist on Capitol Hill, and Josephine M. Kübel Taylor. His maternal grandfather, Edward Kübel, a noted scientific instrument maker from Bavaria, lived nearby. As a youth Taylor spent much time in his father’s store, especially its popular ice cream parlor. After graduating from McKinley Manual Training School in 1921, Taylor worked for a building contractor. One of his teachers had required that students take the Civil Service exam for mechanical drawing to pass the course. Based on that exam, in 1922 Taylor was hired as a laboratory apprentice at the Division of Mechanical Technology at the United States National Museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution. Although he grew up in Washington, D.C., he had rarely visited the museum and never planned to work there. Once on the staff Taylor proved such a diligent and talented worker that he was encouraged to pursue college studies as part of his training. He received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1928 with a thesis on “Investigation of the Arnold Hardness Testing Machine,” and a J.D. in 1934 from Georgetown University Law School....

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Van Dyke, John Charles (21 April 1856–05 December 1932), nature writer and art critic, was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, the son of John Van Dyke, an attorney, a U.S. congressman, and a state supreme court justice, and Mary Dix Strong. His mother, who came from an old New England family, was the daughter of ...