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Nature's MirrorHow Taxidermists Shaped America's Natural History Museums and Saved Endangered Species$
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Mary Anne Andrei

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226730318

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226730455.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 05 July 2022

“A Gathering Place for Amateur Naturalists”: Ward’s and the Birth of the Habitat Group

“A Gathering Place for Amateur Naturalists”: Ward’s and the Birth of the Habitat Group

Chapter:
(p.15) Chapter One “A Gathering Place for Amateur Naturalists”: Ward’s and the Birth of the Habitat Group
Source:
Nature's Mirror
Author(s):

Mary Anne Andrei

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226730455.003.0002

Ward’s Natural Science Establishment played a foundational role in America’s new taxidermy movement. In 1862, Henry A. Ward founded the establishment in Rochester, New York, to serve as a natural history specimen supply house for universities and museums. Ward hired European taxidermists and osteologists to train and develop new techniques with Americans naturalists, including Frederic Lucas, William Hornaday, Frederic Webster, Charles Townsend, and Carl Akeley. Although Ward did not consider the establishment an educational institution, word continued to spread that it was a training ground for this wholly American school of taxidermy—where the best preparators in the country gathered, practicing a new scientific discipline that was producing mounted specimens superior to any seen in natural history museums throughout Europe. Ward’s taxidermists, eager to transform American taxidermy into a more rigorous, scientifically accurate, and artistic pursuit founded in 1880 the Society of American Taxidermists. After serving as Ward’s primary field collector for most of the 1870s, collecting specimens the world over, William Hornaday was the first of Ward’s taxidermist-naturalists to mount a habitat group, and he was offered positions at the Smithsonian and the American Museum of Natural History.

Keywords:   Ward’s Natural Science Establishment, Henry A. Ward, Frederic Lucas, William Hornaday, Frederic Webster, Charles Townsend, Carl Akeley, Society of American Taxidermists, taxidermy, natural history

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