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FOREST CONSERVATION IN NEW YORK STATE
death, he was an active member of its Council.
Mr. Brewster was also one of the Founders of the original Audubon Society which grew from the American Ornithologists' Union; he was for years a director of the National Association of Audubon Societies, and president of the Massachusetts Audubon Society.
From 1880 to 1887, Brewster was assistant in charge of birds and mammals in the Boston Society of Natural History; from 1885 to 1900 he held a similar position in the Cambridge Museum of Comparative Zoology, and from the last-named date to the end of his life he was, in effect, honorary or advisory curator of birds of that institution. His active curatorial duties, however, were connected with the development of his private museum. This, a fire-proof, brick structure, perfect in all its appointments, was erected on the grounds of his Cambridge home. It contained his library and collection of North American birds. The latter, by the terms of Mr. Brewster's will, has been given to the Museum of Comparative Zoology to which he also left the sum of $60,000.
William Brewster occupied a unique position in American ornithology. Well grounded in the fundamentals of the science, the peer of any of his colleagues in techni
HE area of the New York Forest Preserve at the close of 1919 is 1,886,550.81 acres. The acquisition of additions to the Preserve during 1919, has been carried out with funds provided by a bond issue authorized by the voters in 1916. The work of acquisition is now earried on under a carefully developed plan, which permits it to proceed systematically and with complete assurance that the state will receive full value for every dollar expended.
In order that a purchase price may be agreed upon with the owner, all large tracts offered are thoroughly cruised by foresters of the Commission, who determine the quantity of timber on the property. The work
cal research, conservative in statement, as accurate in the presentation of facts as it is humanly possible to be, he still never let his interest in the science of ornithology absorb or diminish his love for the sentiment of ornithology. It was the bird in the bush rather than the bird in the hand which commanded his attention, and his more important contributions to ornithology consist of the results of his study of birds in nature. These were made with a born naturalist's enthusiasm and sympathetic insight, and with a trained observer's discrimination, while their results were presented in a literary form which has rarely been approached in the annals of ornithology.
Forest Conservation in New York State
Extracts from statement by the State of New York Conservation Commission
The achievements of a scientist are not to be measured alone by his published works, but also by the influence he exerts upon his time. Viewed from this standpoint, William Brewster occupied an enviable position among ornithologists. Possessed of an exceptionally attractive personality, sincere, unselfish, considerate of others, of sound judgment, he won the esteem, respect, and confidence of everyone who knew him. It was therefore not alone his knowledge of birds, but also the nobility of his character which made William Brewster a potent factor in the development of the science of ornithology in this country.
that the foresters do is entirely in the nature of a topographical and quantity survey. They are then followed by appraisers, who ascertain the value of the timber in the place where it stands. It frequently hap pens that the owner of the property also makes a valuation survey, and in case of dispute, the Commission in some instances has the land cruised a second time by different parties, as a check upon the work of the first.
During the past year the land examined by foresters and appraisers, some of which had been offered in 1918, included 67,295 acres in the Adirondacks and 17,029 acres in the Catskills, a total of 84,324 acres; and of these amounts the Commission has negotiated the purchase of 42,371.98 acres in the Adiron
dacks and 16,415.30 acres in the Catskills,
The Shore Owners Association of Lake Placid in 1918 raised a fund of $30,000 as a gift to the state to pay part of the purchase price of land lying on the slopes of McKenzie and Saddleback mountains, in order that
these slopes might be immediately acquired
Lands already acquired during the year, or the acquisition of which has been authorized by the Commissioners of the Land Office, include all or parts of the upper slopes of Mounts McKenzie, Saddleback, Whiteface, McIntyre, Marcy, Skylight, Redfield, Allen, McComb, Seward, Seymour, Esther, Sawtooth, Colden, Cliff, and Wallface. While some of these lands have cost a comparatively large amount owing to the fact that they contain large virgin growths of softwood, nevertheless they are the forests of greatest value to the people of the state of New York as protection forests for the sources of some of the largest rivers, and as vacation grounds, including within their boundaries the most beautiful and impressive scenery of the Empire State.
English Sparrows live below Sea Level
HE apparent ubiquity of the common English sparrow frequently causes us to forget that this bird is not indigenous to this continent and that its advent in some parts is relatively recent. Dr. Joseph Grinnell, director of the Museum of Comparative Zoology of the University of California, has discovered a new "outpost" of sparrows in the heart of Death Valley, California, at Greenland Ranch, 178 feet below sea level. Sparrows, which were introduced into New York City sometime between 1860 and 1864, arrived in California in 1871 or
1872, but they required nearly forty-two
Honor to Adam Hermann
Address on the occasion of his retirement after nearly thirty years of service as head preparator of fossil vertebrates at the American Museum
AO Adam Hermann, his friends and fellow workers present their congratulations upon his record of high achievement. For nearly thirty years a leader in the preparation and mounting of fossil skeletons, his skill, ingenuity, and inventiveness have revolutionized the technique of his chosen profession and aided greatly in the progress of science.
In his early days at Yale University he was trained under the vigilant eye of Professor Marsh to an exact and scrupulous regard for finish and accuracy of detail, and the perfect preservation and safety of specimens and records. Coming to the American Museum in 1892, he found an opportunity for broader and more progressive work, retaining the high standards of his early training, but adapting them to new methods of preparation and exhibition which combined strict scientific accuracy with the largest possible utility in popular education.
When Mr. Hermann came to the Museum the department of vertebrate palæontology was in its infancy. A beginning had been made in the field expeditions and some valuable collections stood ready to his hand. But little or nothing had been done toward preparation and exhibition. During the twentyseven years that have passed since that time, he has seen the exhibits, beginning with a little group of specimens that stood in the corridor next the elevator, grow steadily year by year. They expanded first into the hall of fossil mammals, then overflowing these limits, filled the great dinosaur hall, and finally, a third and still larger hall has been required to contain the great and ever increasing series of fossil skeletons, and a fourth hall is urgently needed. Step by step with the expansion of the exhibits their fame and reputation have grown steadily both at home and abroad, so that the people of the city are justly proud of their great Natural History Museum and of its wonderful skeletons of extinct animals.
His methods of preparation and mount
ing have been very generally adopted for similar work in other museums, often by preparators trained in this Museum under Mr. Hermann's direction. Gidley and Horn in Washington, Peterson and Coggeshall in Pittsburgh, Miller in Chicago, Martin in Lawrence, George Sternberg in Ottawa, all received their training here, while many scientists and museum men in this country and in Europe have come to the American Museum to learn the best methods of preparing and exhibiting fossil vertebrates.
The first skeleton which Hermann mounted for this Museum was the Canopus tridactylus, a fine example of the panel or low relief mount, which has been so largely used in our later work. Next came the Metamynodon, the first of our open or full relief mounts, the first attempt, I think, to mount a Tertiary mammal in this style. Then came the great Brontops skeleton, which has been the pride of our Tertiary mammal hall for twenty-four years, and wiil, we hope, remain standing in broad and sturdy massiveness, defiant of all rivals, for many a year to come. The acquisition of the Cope man.mal collection in 1893 provided a new series of valuable and classic specimens, and as the expeditions brought in new material year by year and the labora
tory staff enlarged, the exhibits grew more and more rapidly. The famous Phenacodus skeleton afforded an opportunity for what was then thought a remarkable tour de force: to make an open mount in which every bone of the skeleton could be conveniently removed if desired for separate study. Today this method has been very widely applied, and it is customary to arrange any rare or unique skeleton so that the parts can be readily dismantled for study.
In 1897 the department entered a new field, extending its work to the dinosaurs and other fossil reptiles. This brought up new problems for solution. The gigantic size and fragile character of the skeletons of the dinosaurs made them far more difficult to restore and mount than anything that had previously been attempted. The first work done on the dinosaurs was of the nature of preliminary experiments; first, in mounting the limbs, then, in devising mounts that would hold securely the individual vertebræ; finally, in restoring and mounting the entire skeleton of a Brontosaurus. These various experiments, along with studies in pose and musculature, took time, so that it was not until 1905 that we were able to exhibit the completed Brontosaurus skeleton. Meantime our friends in Pittsburgh had studied and profited by our experiments and were able to complete their Diplodocus mount a little before the Brontosaurus was ready for exhibition. It is but fair, however, to say that the chief credit for devising methods to mount the skeletons of the giant Sauropoda belongs to Adam Hermann.
Another very different problem was presented by the great marine reptiles and fishes of the Kansas Cretaceous. The skeleton of Tylosaurus dyspelor was one of the first and is still the finest mounted skeleton of a Mosasaur on exhibition. The method of mounting this specimen included ingenious devices for reducing the weight of the great block, 26 × 6 feet, and for strengthening it and securing its permanency.
The later history of the laboratory has been one of continued progress and prosperity. Always ready to experiment with new devices, new tools, new cements or preservatives, many improvements have been introduced, others tried and abandoned. Gum arabic replaced glue, and to a large extent shellac1 has replaced gum arabic. New First used in this laboratory in 1901, I think.
cements of various kinds have been tried out. Electric power has been applied to various operations. The numerous and conspicuous mountings of the early skeletons have been reduced to a few inconspicuous simple lines.
The laboratory methods and technique have always been fully and freely explained and displayed to all who were interested. No petty rivalries or secrecy for the supposed selfish advantage of this institution has been allowed to interfere with the progress of the science. A spirit of friendly cooperation has become more and more prevalent and has aided no less than ingenuity or inventiveness in placing our American Museum laboratory technique in its present position of acknowledged leadership. In furtherance of this spirit of mutual helpfulness Mr. Hermann prepared and published in 1909 a fully illustrated description of his methods and technique which has served as a textbook in laboratories of vertebrate palæontology and has been of great help to preparators both in this country and abroad. While credit for the initiation of this liberal policy is due to Professor Osborn, yet to Mr. Hermann, as to other department leaders, belongs the credit of carrying it out loyally and effectively.
In a recent census of the fossil skeletons it appeared that no fewer than one hundred were at that time mounted on exhibition, ranging from the giant Brontosaurus to the tiny Pterodactylus. Most of these skeletons have been prepared and mounted in our laboratory, the greater number either by Mr. Hermann himself or under his direction. This is a record which it is safe to say is not equaled nor is likely to be by any other preparator of fossil vertebrates.
And, last but not least, we who have worked with Adam Hermann for so many years cannot fail to express our appreciation of his loyalty to the American Museum and to the department of vertebrate palæontology, his watchful care over the expenditure of both time and money in the prosecution of our work, the aid and instruction freely given to his subordinates, his frank appreciation of good work, and criticism of all that failed to reach the Museum's standards. To this spirit of loyalty and friendly cooperation, not less than to diligence and skill, we ascribe the growth of the department from its small beginnings in 1892 to its present position.-W. D. MATTHEW.