Vol. 14, No. 1, pp 1 - 96 April, 1981
Rochester Academy of Science-
The First One Hundred Years 3
Looking Backward and Forward 55
Officers of the Academy, 1881-1981 57
Honorary Members of the Academy 64
Fellows of the Academy 66
Histories of Academy Sections 70
Chairmen of Sections 94
ROCHESTER ACADEMY OF SCIENCE--THE FIRST HUNDRED YEARS
By Reginald Hartwell
OUR REAL BIRTHDAY
Any chronicle of an organization's first hundred years properly should
begin at the beginning. In the case of the Rochester Academy of Science
' however, a difficulty arises in pinpointing the exact date of that
beginning. In other words, when is our birthday? We could say January
1, and quote from our Articles of Incorporation, namely, "The names
of the directors of said association for the first year of its existence
beginning January 1, 1881 are...." Or we could call it may 11,
1881, the date those articles of incorporation officially were executed.
Perhaps it should be February 14 (Valentine's Day). On that date in
1881 the Rochester Microscopical Society, a thriving two-year-old organization
with 119 members and a cash balance of $35.11, met to hear a report
of a committee appointed to consider a constitution and by-laws. That
report was "in favor of enlarging the scope of the Society under
the name of the Rochester Academy of Science to include various departments
not connected with microscopy."
The most likely birth date, however, seems to be March 14, 1881. On
that day the Rochester Microscopical society, meeting in the Rochester
Free Academy building on Fitzhugh Street, adopted the report of the
committee on constitution and by-laws. Surely our real beginning--the
actual moment of our birth--comes to light in this statement in the
minutes of that meeting: "By adoption of the committee report the
Society will be known henceforth as the Rochester Academy of Science."
In order to conform to provisions of the new constitution, a corresponding
secretary and three trustees were elected at that meeting, to be added
to the incumbent president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer
who had been elected the previous January.
OUR FIRST OFFICERS
Now let us meet the first officers of our newly fledged Rochester Academy
The President: The Reverend Myron Adams, Jr., Pastor of Plymouth Congregational
Church at Troup Street and Plymouth Avenue South. Why would an Academy
of Science choose a clergyman to be its first president? Perhaps the
best explanation is to be found in a eulogy published in 1895 by the
Reverend Samuel Hopkins at the time of Mr. Adam's death. "He had
a hearty love of nature. He rejoiced in butterflies and beetles. Until
he made his fine instrument a present to Hamilton College, he delighted
in microscopic investigations of diatoms and rotifers." Furthermore,
the views of the Reverend Mr. Adams generally supported Charles Darwin's
revolutionary theories, causing considerable controversy among local
churchmen of that day. Late in 1880 he was called before the ruling
Congregational body and "disfellowshipped" because of those
views and others deemed equally heretical. Freed of his obligations
to that ruling body, he continued his popular pastorate of Plymouth
Church, most of whose members locally supported him. Mr. Adams I son,
10 years old at the time, was Samuel Hopkins Adams who grew up to become
the well known author of many best-selling stories, including the delightful
"Grandfather Stories" that tell so much about Rochester's
"Ruffled Shirt Ward."
The Vice-President: Mr. H. Franklin Atwood, who is listed in the city
directory as a "Special Agent" with offices at #12 Rochester
Savings Bank Building.
The Secretary: Mr. Henry Clay Maine, editor of the Rochester Democrat
The Treasurer: Dr. Charles E. Rider, a physician whose home and office-were
at 60 Fitzhugh Street. It was there that the organizational meeting
of the Rochester Microscopical Society was held on January 13, 1879.
Trustee: Professor Samuel A. Lattimore, Professor of Chemistry at the
University of Rochester. He was the first president of the Rochester
Trustee: Major William Streeter, a superintendent at Sargent & Greenleaf,
the nationally known maker of locks and safes. He was a charter member
of the Microscopical society and it was at his home at 11 Scio Street
that the Botany Section was organized on April 13, 1881.
Trustee: Cyrus F. Paine, the druggist whose famous Paine Drug store
in the Reynolds Arcade building was for many years the only true drug
store anywhere in our area. There were no fancy sidelines such as a
soda fountain--just drugs and surgical instruments.
Looking a bit further into our ancestry, let us consider briefly that
January 13, 1879, meeting which resulted in the formation of our parent
organization, the Rochester Microscopical Society. About 25 people met
in the home of Dr. Charles E. Rider. Among them were 8 physicians, 3
lawyers, 2 dentists, 2 University of Rochester students, 2 opticians,
2 jewelers, a hardware merchant, a professor, a minister, a pharmacist
and an astronomer. The opticians
were E. E. Bausch and Thomas Dransfield, of the firm of Bausch &
Dransfield located in the Reynolds Arcade. They also dealt in "philosophical
instruments" (meaning microscopes). The subsequent firm, E. E.
Bausch & Son, is doing business here today. Bausch & Lomb's
Edward Bausch and Captain Henry Lomb apparently were not at that first
meeting but became active members both of the Society and the Academy.
The astronomer was Dr. Lewis Swift, whose home and headquarters was
the famed Warner observatory at the corner of East Avenue and Arnold
Park. Dr. Swift's son, Lewis, Jr., grew up to become president of Taylor
Instrument Company. one of the lawyers was George B. Selden, the patent
attorney whose claims to the invention of the automobile resulted in
long legal battles that made automotive history. one of the students
was James S. Watson, who lived at 28 North Clinton Avenue. His subsequent
activities gave rise to the giant corporation we know now as IBM.
In addition to the election of Professor Lattimore as president of the
new society, other officers were elected. Vice-president was Corydon
C. Merriman, who lived at the corner of East Avenue and South Goodman
Street. Dr. Rider was elected treasurer, an office he held through the
first year of the Academy's existence. The secretary was Dr. J. Edward
Line, a dentist with an office at 20 West Main Street. (In those days
West Main Street began at the west bank of the Genesee River).
Meetings of the new Society were held monthly in the Rochester Free
Academy on Fitzhugh Street. Their work naturally was a study of microscopes
and a consideration of their various uses. Their annual exhibitions,
called soirees, were occasions of great public interest and they were
continued on into the first years of the Academy's existence.
OUR FIRST YEARS
Here, then, in the spring of 1881 was a brand new Rochester Academy
of Science, an already going concern with an active membership of 110,
plus 9 honorary members and a modest cash balance. Article II of its
new constitution read: "The purpose of this society shall be to
promote scientific study and research, and especially a thorough knowledge
of the natural history of that part of the State of New York in the
vicinity of Rochester, and to make permanent collections of objects
illustrative of the different branches of science." That last clause
suggests that our founders had in mind the making of a general museum.
Meetings and work naturally continued in the same general pattern as
that of the parent society. The annual Soirees continued to attract
much public attention. There were occasions when as many as 2500 to
3000 tickets were issued
to one of those affairs, which were held in places like the Arsenal
or Washington Rink. Annual dues at first were $1.00, later increased
to $2.00. The Academy Seal was designed by member William Rebasz, a
watchmaker at 11 State Street, and officially adopted in 1884. General
meetings were held, rent free, in an assembly room in the Reynolds Arcade,
through the generosity of Mortimer Reynolds, owner of that famed and
The Academy's first new section was the Botany Section, which was organized
on April 13, 1881, at the home of Trustee Major Streeter, with 11 charter
members, including Academy Secretary Henry C. Maine. There has been
a Botany section in existence ever since. No other section can make
that claim. Other sections came and went; records of their activities
are fragmentary. By 1886 there were sections in Botany, Literature,
Entomology, Art, Astronomy, Photography, Microscopy, Anatomy, Hygiene
and Electricity. The work of the sections was largely in the nature
of classes led by more experienced workers. As time went on in many
cases there were not enough professional scientists available to keep
some sections alive. When enthusiasm waned and section work became more
of a duty than a pleasure, attendance dwindled and a section became
inactive. In 1888, the only sections remaining were Art, Botany, Microscopy
and Photography. In that year, attendance at the general meetings had
diminished to a point where a special committee was appointed to adjust
A New Constitution
That special committee went right to work. Dr. M. L. Mallory was its
chairman. Others were Sylvanus A. Ellis, James E. Whitney and a newcomer
to the area, University of Rochester Professor Herman Leroy Fairchild,
whose impact on Academy affairs was to become far reaching and long
lasting, as will be seen. At the 10th annual meeting, on January 12,
1889, the election of new officers was postponed until the committee's
report could be heard and a revised constitution adopted. On February
25, 1889, a special meeting was called to hear that report. It was an
in-depth analysis of the needs of a viable local Academy of Science.
The committee then presented a new constitution and by-laws incorporating
those proposals and these were adopted provisionally.
Many of that constitution's provisions are still in effect today. There
were four classes of members: active, corresponding, honorary and fellows.
Corresponding members were those who lived outside the Rochester area,
close as Scottsville or Newark, N.Y.; others were scattered nationwide.
They paid no dues and could not vote and their numbers were limited
to l00. Active and honorary members were chosen much as they are today.
Fellows were a new class, chosen from active members whose scientific
interests were professional or permanent, or who had given outstanding
service to the Academy. There seem never to have been any further hard
and fast requirements for a fellowship. They were elected by ballot
on recommendation of the Council.
The Council, as it does today, consisted of the officers, the section
chairmen and 6 elected councilors at large. There was a requirement,
however, that a majority of the Council must be fellows. The idea, apparently,
was to insure that Academy affairs remain on a strictly scientific level
and never become reduced to those of a mere recreational or entertainment
organization. Section membership was specifically restricted to active
Academy members, fellows, and corresponding members. Any contribution
to a section was treated as a contribution to the Academy for use by
that section. Dues were increased to an annual $5.00 ($2.00 for women).
Also, each member was required to pay an initiation fee of $5.00 ($2.00
for women). That provision, however, did not last long; it was rescinded
at a meeting in April, 1890. Further, it was provided that each member
could be assessed up to $5.00 ($2.00 for women) additional in case of
dire financial need. That appears never to have happened. one interesting
communication involving dues came on the letterhead of the Eastman Dry
Plate & Film Co., dated October 19, 1889. Addressed to E. Ocumpaugh,
Jr., Treasurer, it said in copperplate handwriting:
"Dear Sir, Enclosed please find a check to pay my dues for 1888
& 1889. I have no time to attend these meetings and I hereby tender
my resignation as a member. Yours truly, Geo Eastman."
Meetings were required to be held twice each month, on the 2nd and 4th
Mondays. Provisions were made for maintaining a library and collections
illustrating the natural history of the Rochester area, and for the
appointment of a librarian and curators of the various collections.
Finally, and possibly the most important new development, provision
was made and the way cleared for the publication of the Proceedings,
a scientific journal of the Academy.
It is interesting to note that the two meetings following that special
meeting had to be adjourned because of lack of a quorum. On April 19,
1889, however, the new constitution officially was adopted and the new
officers for that year were elected. They were Professor Herman L. Fairchild,
President; J. Edward Line, 1st Vice-President; Abram S. Mann, 2nd Vice-President;
A. L. Arey, Secretary; Sylvanus A. Ellis, Corresponding Secretary and
E. Ocumpaugh, Jr. , Treasurer. Elected Councilors at large were Edward
Bausch, S. A. Lattimore, Florence Beckwith, J. E. Whitney and M. L.
Mallory. So began a period of Academy development under the leadership
of Professor Fairchild, who served as president for the next 13 years.
Events in those years did much to shape the course of Academy affairs
in the 20th century.
Just what went on in some of those early twice-a-month meetings? Let
us sit in on one or two. The stated meeting of May 14, 1894, was held
in Anderson Hall on the University of Rochester Prince Street Campus.
Forty-five, people were present and President Fairchild was in the chair.
First, the report of the Council was heard. They recommended that at
the next business meeting an election be held to fill the vacancy caused
by the recent death of Dr. M. L. Mallory, 2nd Vice-President. They also
recommended that the Academy lend its support and cooperation to a movement
initiated by the Scientific Alliance of New York City to secure lower
rates of postage on scientific material. Both recommendations were adopted.
Mr. J. Y. McClintock, the City Surveyor, exhibited a photographic copy
of a topographic map of Rochester made by the cooperation of the U.S.
Geological Survey and the New York State Engineer and Surveyor. Later
in the meeting a resolution was adopted urging the desirability of extending
the sheet northward to the shore of Lake Ontario to include a shoreline
entirely across the sheet.
Then came the reading of three papers. "A Memorial to Maitland
L. Mallory, M.D." was read by Major William Streeter. Professor
S. A. Lattimore read a paper entitled
"The Recent Epidemic of Typhoid Fever in Buffalo." "The
Pitch Lake of Trinidad" was the tit of the third paper, read by
The following meeting on May 28, also in Anderson Hall, was not a business
meeting. There was 30 people present, with Professor Fairchild presiding.
Mr. F. W. Warner read a paper entitled "Notes on ophidians of the
Southern States." Mr. Charles H. Ward then exhibited and described
some living specimens of the Gila Monster, and also two so-called "alcoholic
specimens:" (preserved) of the Surinam Toad, Pipa americans. Professor
C. W. Dodge described the life history, physiology and respiration of
that species. The remainder of the evening was devoted to informal reviews
in various departments of science. Professor Dodge reported on new information
on the fatigue of nerve cells. Mr. E. J. Putnam remarked on the new
dynamos of the Citizens Light & Power Co., "a novelty, furnishing
both a continuous and an alternating current with the same armature
and winding-" City Surveyor J. Y. McClintock reported on a trip
up the Genesee River following the "third greatest flood which
occurred in 30-40 years." He gave results of studies made on the
speed of the flood waters down river, and spoke of the storage capacity
of the projected flood control dam to be built at Mt. Morris. It was
not until 1952 that the dam was built to finally bring flooding along
the lower Genesee under control.
WE HOST THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE
Two years earlier, in 1892, Rochester was host to the 41st annual meeting
of the American Association for the Advancement Of Science (AAAS). Planning
for the event, which was in August, began in February when President
Fairchild appointed a Special Committee on the AAAS Meeting. On it were
Professor Albert L. Arey, Dr. J. Edward Line, Mr. Joseph O'Connor, Dr.
E. M. Moore, the Reverend C. B. Gardner and Professor Samuel A. Lattimore.
That committee immediately notified other scientific, educational and
business groups with the result that soon there came into existence
a city-wide organization dedicated to planning the event, at which about
1000 visitors were expected, down to the last tiny detail. At the head
of that organization were Dr. Moore, as president, Professor Fairchild
as secretary and Mr. David Hoyt as treasurer.
Under them were 13 committees consisting of anywhere from 10 to 50
members each. The list read like a roster of Rochester's business, professional,
educational and social leaders. There was a Women's Reception Committee,
a Finance Committee and a Committee on Invitations and Receptions. There
were committees on Excursions, Transportation, Hotels and Lodgings,
Rooms, Mail, Telegraph and Express, Printing, Membership and Press.
The American Microscopical Society and the Botanical Club were not yet
sections of the AAAS but held their own separate meetings and committees
were organized to take care of their needs.
There were 8 sections of the AAAS: Mathematics and Astronomy; Mechanical
Sciences and Engineering; Geology and Geography; Biology; Anthropology;
and Economic Sciences and Statistics. They all had to be provided with
meeting rooms for their own separate sessions. Most of the sessions
were held in buildings at the University of Rochester, generally in
Anderson or Sibley Hall. Closing sessions for the full membership were
held in the YMCA Music Hall, then located at the corner of Court Street
and South St. Paul Street (now South Avenue).
Every evening a new 25-page schedule of events for the following day
was printed for distribution. On Monday evening, August 22, the Rochester
Academy of Science held a special "Complimentary Meeting"
for their AAAS guests in the Music Hall. Speaker of the evening was
Dr. G. Karl Gilbert, Chief Geologist for the U.S. Geological Survey.
was "Coon Butte and the Theories of Its Origin." No sessions
were held on Saturday or Sunday but on Saturday, August 20, guests had
a choice of four free excursions.
They could go to Niagara Falls and Lewiston on a New York Central train.
or they could board a Western New York & Pennsylvania train for
a trip to Portage and Mt. Morris, or they could continue on to Stony
Brook Glen via the same train. Or they could go by the Auburn Road to
Canadaigua Lake, boarding a steamer there for a trip around the lake
with a stop at Seneca Point for lunch. At the end of the last full day
of sessions, August 23, guests took a short excursion by Buffalo, Rochester
& Pittsburgh Railroad to the new fish hatchery at Mumford. Elaborate
plans for an overnight Adirondack excursion beginning the last day,
August 24, had to be cancelled because "Dr. Webb's new Adirondack
Railway was not yet completed." Guests, however, were offered a
round trip to Montreal for $13.00 if 50 people could be signed up to
The outstanding success of this event was due in no small measure to
the efforts of Professor Fairchild as Executive Secretary. His incredible
energy and ability to organize and get things done were to pervade Academy
affairs for the next 50 years.
Probably the most significant development in all those early years
was the publication of the Proceedings. Volume 1 came out in 1891 and
1892 in two separate parts, called brochures, that covered the years
1889-91. It was edited by a Publication Committee consisting of Professor
Fairchild, Frank L. Baker, George W. Rafter and Dr. M. L. Mallory. There
were 216 pages. All Academy transactions were there: minutes; reports
of officers and sections; and a total of 38 papers of varying lengths.
Subjects covered included Archeology (4), Astronomy (5), Bacteriology
(1), Biology (1), Botany (8), Geography (5) and Geology and Paleontology
(14). Costs of that first volume totaled about $580.00. With an active
Academy membership of about 102, that left an exceedingly small balance
in the treasury.
Yet somehow they managed, and by June 1896, two complete volumes had
been published, plus 150 pages of Volume 3. According to Professor Fairchild,
a considerable strain on Academy resources resulted. That, plus effects
of the financial panic of 1893, forced the suspending of publication
for a time. But by 1902 all of Volume 3 had been published plus 66 pages
of Volume 4. However, they were 6 years behind in publishing the business
transactions and Volume 4 was begun on a new plan whereby the scientific
papers were to be published in separate brochures with the business
transactions to be appended at the end of each volume in condensed form.
That practice has continued ever
since, with the transactions becoming more and more condensed, forcing
a historian to dig ever deeper into the original minutes and archives.
PROFESSOR FAIRCHILD "RETIRES"
At the annual meeting in January, 1902, Professor Fairchild ended 13
years of outstanding leadership as President. To mark the occasion,
he read a paper entitled "History of the Society." This appeared
as the last article in Volume 3 of the Proceedings and it is the basis
of much of the material you have been reading so far. In summarizing
accomplishments since the 1889 reorganization, he noted an average of
16 meetings per year with an attendance ranging from 25 to one or two
hundred. Scientific papers read at those meetings numbered 226, not
a few of which were published in the Proceedings.
With the single exception of Botany, section activity played a very
minor role during those years. There was a Geology Section in 1890 that
lasted about 3 years. A Zoology Section was organized in 1890 but it
only survived one year. In 1896 there was an Engineering Section that
lasted 2 years. Professor Fairchild gave special praise to the Botany
Section, noting that its herbarium already had over 15,000 specimens
and that much of its voluminous published material represented vital
information about the flora of this area. He attributed the section's
outstanding success partly to the fact that many of its workers were
women and partly to the hospitality of Major and Mrs. William Streeter
and the use of the Streeters' unsurpassed microscopical apparatus and
material and their extensive library.
Professor Fairchild cited the extensive Academy library, with its 500
volumes and pamphlets deposited in the University of Rochester library,
many of which resulted from the Proceedings exchanges with 200 U.S.
and 300 foreign scientific societies. Besides the botanical collections,
the Academy had acquired an outstanding collection of Mollusca on deposit
in the University of Rochester zoological museum and a collection of
local fossils housed in the geological museum. The Robert Bunker collection
of insects was displayed in the vestibule of Sibley Hall. He stressed
the Academy's good fortune in never having to pay rent for any of its
meeting rooms. The Reynolds Arcade, the Reynolds Library, Mechanics
Institute, and the University of Rochester all had generously provided
space for the meetings as needed. In expressing appreciation, he quoted
a remark attributed to Talleyrand that gratitude often is expressed
with a lively expectation of favors to come.
Professor Fairchild never relinquished the idea that the Academy should
require an initiation fee of all new members. He said, "The Academy
should restore the initiation fee of $5.00, thus requiring payment of
perfect membership. And the cost to women should be the same as to men
instead of $2.00 as at present. A scientific society should be thoroughly
democratic and show no favors." He was given a rising vote of thanks
for his invaluable leadership and his intense devotion to Academy affairs
over the years. But the initiation fee never was restored.
EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY
20th CENTURY COUNCIL
While that January, 1902, annual meeting marked the end of Professor
Fairchild's 13-year leadership as Academy President, it by no means
marked the end of his influence on Academy affairs. He was elected as
a Councilor that year, and he continued to serve in that or a similar
capacity for the next 30-odd years. Let us meet the newly elected slate
The new President was Professor Charles Wright Dodge, of the University
of Rochester Biology Department. He had served as Corresponding Secretary
from 1892 to 1901. First Vice-President was Dr. Charles R. Sumner, a
physician with offices at 33 Clinton Avenue South. Second Vice-President
was Dr. George W. Goler, Rochester's militant health officer whose continual
campaigning for city sanitation often was more vigorous than tactful.
Re-elected as Secretary was Dr. Montgomery E. Leary, a physician at
397 West Main Street. He had served as Secretary since 1898. His minutes
are notable for their conciseness and lack of embellishment. Notices
of meetings were sent to members on printed penny postcards. Often the
minutes of a meeting consisted of one of those postcards pasted on a
page with a brief note or two about attendance and what business was
Corresponding Secretary was Dr. William D. Merrell, who is listed in
the 1902 City Directory as an instructor at the University of Rochester.
He served as the Academy's Corresponding Secretary for the next 20 years
and his Biology Professorship at the University of Rochester lasted
many more. The Treasurer was Mr. Joseph E. Putnam, an electrical engineer
with headquarters in the so-called Chamber of Commerce Building. We
know it today as the Commerce Building (recently demolished to make
way for redevelopment of the "crossroads" downtown area).
Besides Professor Fairchild, the Councilors were Dr. Eveline P. Ballintine,
an assistant physician at the Rochester State Hospital; Dr. Charles
T. Howard, a dentist; Mr. George H. Chadwick whom the 1908 City directory
lists as a student but who in
due course became known as Professor Chadwick of the University of Rochester
Geology Department; and John M. Davison, who already had served as 1st
Vice-President from 1893 to 1898 and as a Councilor in 1890 and 1899.
Finally there was Miss Florence E. Beckwith, a charter member of the
Botany Section. She was editor of the famous Vicks Magazine, published
by the James Vick Seed Company and she served as Chairman of the Botany
Section from 1897 until her death in 1929. During most of that time
she also served as an Academy Councilor. A delightful account of her
life appears in Volume 8 of the Proceedings.
It was these people and their successors who carried Academy affairs
on into the 20th Century. There were problems. Membership numbers were
declining. In 1907 there were 53 active members compared to 160 in 1895.
By 1910 this figure had reached only 63. There were also financial problems.
At the Council meeting of April 14, 1901, the treasurer had been directed
to write a "pathetic" letter to 14 members who were considerably
in arrears, asking their assistance, stating the Academy's need for
money and pointing out the large amount of outstanding unpaid dues (over
$700). No record appears as to the results of that
letter, but when the 1902 slate of officers took over there was a cash
balance in the treasury of $297.81 after paying bills amounting to $270.23.
No special concern about the low membership appears in the Council minutes
of those years and the Academy remained solvent and extremely active.
By 1910 Volume 4 of the Proceedings had been completed and published.
It contained articles on birds, meteorites, botany and fossils. The
authors of several of these articles became, or already were, widely
known authorities in their fields. "Birds of Western New York,"
by Elon Howard Eaton, appeared in 1901 as the first so-called "brochure"
(now called "numbers") of Volume 4. Eaton, as all birdwatchers
known, went on to produce the monumental 2-volume "Birds of New
York," published in 1910 by the State of New York, a classic still
considered the authoritative work on early ornithology of the state.
In 1902, however, Eaton was a teacher at the Bradstreet School For Boys,
located in the Cutler Building on East Avenue. He was an elected Councilor
of the Academy in 1903 to 1905 and served as 1st Vice-President in 1907.
From here he went to Hobart College where he remained as the distinguished
Professor of Biology for the rest of his life.
Meteorites, in these early years of the 1900's, were much in the news.
New ones were continually being discovered and much was being learned
about them. No less than 9 articles about meteorites appeared in Volume
4 of the Proceedings. They were written by two local men who already
were widely known in that field. One was Professor Henry A. Ward, the
founder and head of the world-renowned Ward's Natural Science Establishment
located on College Avenue His worldwide collecting trips included far
more than meteorites and encompassed the whole spectrum of natural history.
He was made a Fellow of the Academy in 1891. The other writer was Mr.
H. L. Preston, who also was connected with Ward's and who also was a
Fellow. His tragic death by suicide in June 1904 cut short a distinguished
career as a mineralogist.
"Crataegus In Rochester" is the title of still another article
in Volume 4 that appeared in 1903 as Brochure No. 7. It was written
by Charles Sprague Sargent, of Boston's Arnold Arboretum. His classic
Manual of the Trees of North America had not yet been published. It
became, however (and it s-till is) the standard reference work in the
field of Dendrology. Crataegus is the generic name for the Thorn-apples,
or Hawthorns. Milton Baxter and other members of the Botany Section
earlier had called Sargent's attention t the unusual number of species
of that genus in the Rochester area. The article lists nine new species
of Crataegus, all of which Sargent named for various members of the
Botany Section, the Highland Park staff and the nursery firm of Ellwanger
& Barry. Thus there is Crataegus Baxteri, C. Beckwithae, C. Ellwangeriana,
C. Dunbari, and so on.
SOME ACADEMY MEETINGS-1902-1910
With active Academy membership in those early years ranging from 53
to 79 (there were 120 by 1920), attendance at the regular bimonthly
meetings ranged from less than 20 to upwards of 100, a remarkable ratio
that surely reflects the efforts of a hard working program committee.
There were special occasions when a joint meeting with another organization
would attract an audience of several hundred. Lectures covered a wide
range of subjects that often reflected how it was in those pre-radio,
pre-TV days when such things as electric power, automobiles and movies
still were in various stages of development and had not become the indispensable
components of our way of life that they are today.
At the meeting of February 14, 1902, 33 people heard 2nd Vice-President
Dr. Goler give an illustrated lecture on "Smallpox In and Around
Rochester." That Dr. Goler still was militantly pursuing his goal
of city sanitation 14 years later is shown in the minutes of the January
24, 1916, meeting when he secured approval of a petition to the Common
Council of the City of Rochester to "take further action without
delay to exterminate the housefly and eradicate its breeding places
within the city and in this undertaking they are justified in incurring
any necessary expense to insure its thorough and permanent accomplishment."
In 1903, 100 people came to the March 23 meeting at Mechanics Institute
to hear Mr. L. B. Elliott read a paper on "Recent Developments
in Projection Apparatus and Methods." But on November 9 of that
year only 17 showed up to hear City Surveyor J. Y. McClintock lecture
on the "Unique Possibilities of Water Power Development Throughout
New York State." Mr. McClintock was opposed to construction of
the New York State Barge Canal but favored a huge ship canal that at
the same time would develop the state's tremendous potential for water
power. At the next meeting, November 23, Elon Howard Eaton spoke on
"This Year's Migration of Shore and Water Birds Near Rochester."
He noted that in this area about 20 of the 35 species of shorebirds
were "taken" in a season, and about 24 species of ducks. His
talk was illustrated with 60 or 70 study skins of ducks, geese, shorebirds
and gulls. It should be remembered that in those days most bird study
was done with a shotgun and the occurrence anywhere of any species was
not accepted officially without a properly labeled specimen to prove
it. At a later meeting in March, 1904, Mr. Eaton secured approval of
a resolution urging the governor to veto a bill pending before the state
legislature that would permit duck and waterfowl shooting in the spring.
There was a joint meeting with the Rochester Chamber of Commerce on
December 12, 1904, when a "large audience" heard Dr. John
M. Clarke, the New York State Geologist, speak on "The Commercial
Invasion of Niagara Falls." At a special meeting held in East High
School on April 5, 1906, 200 people heard a lecture on "The Color
of Animals" by Professor W. C. Dudley of the University of Chicago.
Much work in color photography was being done even in those days and
Academy member Charles C. Zoller was actively involved in its development.
On April 8, 1908, 75 people met in the Eastman Building to hear him
explain and demonstrate the Lumiere process. Again on May 23, 1910,
there was an "unusually large attendance" when he spoke on
"Color Photography by the Autochrome Process."
The 1909 Annual Meeting took place on January 11 with 28 present. The
Treasurer reported finances "in better shape than for several years,"
with a balance of $213.70 and outstanding unpaid dues of $50.00. Speaker
for that meeting was Professor Fairchild, whose subject was "New
Facts Relating to the Disappearance of the Ice Sheet in New York State."
In spite of the fact that it was Washington's Birthday, the February
22, 1910, meeting commemorated the 100th anniversary of Charles Darwin's
birth and the 50th anniversary of the publication of his "Origin
of Species." one hundred and fifty people attended and heard Professor
Charles Wright speak on the "Life and Work of Darwin." Professor
Fairchild also spoke on "Darwin and Geology" and Mr. Merrell
on "Darwin and Botany."
"Americanization of the Filipino", was the subject of an April
25, 1910, lecture. It should be born in mind that at that time the Philippine
Islands were a United States Territory, acquired only 12 years earlier
in the Spanish-American war. On May 9, 1910, Professor Howard D. Minchin
lectured to 50 people on "Comets." The famous Halley's Comet
was visible here that year. Perhaps a few who read this will remember
seeing it. Apparently there had been earlier unrecorded discussions
about a need for a new constitution and at a meeting on March 13, 1911,
Professor Dodge, a Councilor, and Dr. Charles W. Hennington were appointed
to serve with Professor Fairchild and Dr. Charles T. Howard, President,
as a Constitution Revision Committee. At the May 8, 1911, meeting 75
people came to hear Dr. George Fell of Buffalo lecture on "Lake
Erie Currents and Their Effect on the Sanitation of Buffalo and Niagara
MORE ACADEMY MEETINGS--1912-1916
At the beginning of 1912 the Academy membership stood at 5 Honorary,
36 Corresponding and 76 Active, of whom 24 were Fellows. On March 1,
1912, there was a "large attendance" at a special meeting
in the University of Rochester Audubon Hall to hear the famous explorer-preparator,
Carl Akeley, speak on "Hunting Big Game in Africa," describing
his third collecting trip. Akeley surely was remembered by many in that
audience for he had been born on a farm in Clarendon and at the age
of 19 went to work for Ward's Natural Science Establishment where he
spent the next 14 years acquiring the skills in taxidermy and exhibition
techniques that led to his subsequent unique accomplishments in those
fields. At the meeting on April 8, 1912, Councilor Florence Beckwith
introduced a motion to appoint a Bergen Swamp Committee to "investigate
and determine what action could be taken in the matter of cooperating
with the Genesee County organization to preserve that tract of land."
Miss Beckwith was named chairman of that committee, whose other members
were Rudolf Schmitt, Milton S. Baxter, and Dr. Charles W. Hennington.
At the May 27 meeting members heard a program on "Bergen Swamp,
Its Physical Features, Animals, Birds and Flowers and the Desirability
of Preserving Such A Tract." Papers were read by Miss Beckwith
and by Professor Elon Howard Eaton, then of Hobart College.
In 1913 the Academy met jointly with the American Chemical Society on
April 7 when 200 came to hear a lecture on the "History and Development
of Gas Lighting." On December 8 of that year there was a discussion
at the Council meeting entitled, "Does the Academy Need A Change?"
reflecting a feeling by some that only a few people carried the load
of providing programs and other responsibilities. Professor Fairchild
said failure to publish was a chief cause of lack of interest. Miss
Beckwith pointed out the
need for funds and the desirability of an endowment for publications.
Dr. Lucius Button, the 2nd vice-president, felt it was difficult to
keep together people of such diversified interests. Councilor Milton
Baxter's opinion was that the Academy was doing quite well, all things
considered. A Program Committee was then appointed, consisting of the
president, Victor J. Chambers, the secretary, Harrison E. Howe, and
Professors Dodge and Fairchild.
Attendance at 1914 meetings ranged from a low of 11 (3 visitors and
8 members, 7 of whom spoke) to a high of 75 when Mr. Zoller spoke again
on color photography. At the December 14 meeting the question of reducing
dues was discussed but no action taken. Two joint meetings early in
1915 boosted attendance figures. On January 4, 300 came to a joint meeting
with the American Chemical Society to hear Dr. Arthur L. Day, of the
Geophysical Laboratory, speak on "Kilauea In Action", and
300 came again on January 7 to a joint meeting with the University of
Rochester in Catharine Strong Hall when Professor W. M. Davis of Harvard
lectured on "The origin of Coral Reefs". On March 19, 1915,
came the first indication in Academy records that World War I was going
on. There was a special public lecture by Professor Douglas W. Johnson
of Harvard on "Surface Features of Western Europe As A Factor in
the War." One hundred people attended. Again on March 13 1 1916,
at a meeting labeled a "Scientific Miscellany" attended by
only 13 people, Dr. Victor J. Chambers discussed the disarrangement
of the chemical industry by the shutting off of supplies from Germany,
France and England and the excessive demands from other nations, including
those at war, for munitions.
Six brochures of the Proceedings came out in the years 1910 to 1919
to complete volume 5, with a total of 288 pages. Two papers on Botany
were "Supplementary Lists to the Plants of Monroe County"
and two on Geology titled "Eskers in the Vicinity of Rochester"
and the "Evolution of the Irondequoit Valley." "Early
Botanists of Rochester and Vicinity" by Florence Beckwith, came
out in 1912 as Brochure No. 2. It makes delightful reading even today,
as does "Biographic Memoirs of Deceased Fellows" by Professor
Fairchild, which appeared in 1919 as Brochure No. 6, and which has fascinating
accounts of the lives of such men as Henry A. Ward, G. Karl Gilbert
and 10 others.
With the single exception of Botany, section activities continued to
play a very minor role in Academy affairs in the years from 1902 to
1920. At least there are no records left to indicate otherwise. in 1899
Mr. Eaton had suggested
organizing an ornithology Section and several said they would join.
On February 9, 1903, the meeting heard the first annual report of the
ornithology Section, signed by a W. L. Dobbin and read by the Secretary
pro tem, Dr. Merrell. There are no further records of such a section.
At the April 13, 1903, meeting a petition was received for the formation
of a Geology Section and the petition was granted. No further records
of the matter are in the Archives. At a council meeting on December
13, 1915, the secretary announced a newly organized Mycology group and
hoped they would become a section. The 1917 membership list, however,
lists them as "being organized" and the 1919 list does not
A petition for an Entomology Section was granted at the meeting of
December 11, 1916, and it was officially organized on December 14 with
George A. Franck as Chairman and George Wendt as Recorder. There were
22 active members who met monthly on second Thursdays. On March 12,
1917, again the formation of a Geology Section was approved, with Professor
George H. Chadwick as Chairman and Cogswell Bentley as Recorder.
A revised constitution was approved at the meeting of October 23, 1916.
There were no drastic changes. Chairmen and Recorders of the active
Sections were added to the Council and a junior membership was created.
Dues still were $5.00 ($2.00 for women) and members could be assessed
up to $5.00 ($2.00 for women) each in case of dire financial need. Control
of Academy affairs remained firmly in the hands of Fellows. The president,
vice-presidents and secretaries had to be Fellows and at least three
of the councilors. All business matters were handled by the Council
and presented to the Academy at its regular business meetings. The Council
could decline to present business at any Academy meeting where Fellows
did not constitute a majority.
MORE ACADEMY MEETINGS--1917-1919
It should be remembered that in the years just previous to the 1920's
a World War was going on. People were preoccupied with many other things
besides Academy affairs and the records of those years are meager. Nevertheless,
regular meetings took place twice each month from October to May. The
only war-related meeting in 1917 was on October 22, when Mr. Dhan G.
Mukerji spoke on "British Rule In India--What India Is Doing In
The Great War And Why." "Geological Problems and Discoveries
of the Catskill Aqueduct" was the subject of the January 22 meeting
that year, presented by Prof. Charles P. Berkey of the New York State
Aqueduct Commission. Homer D. House, New York State Botanist and
author of the Monumental two-volume Wild Flowers of New York, spoke
on "Botanizing With A Camera" on March 26, and on April 23
Dr. E. Howard Eaton was here again to speak on "Some Rare Birds
of Western New York."
Perhaps the most memorable meeting in all of 1918 was the one when nobody
came. Postcards had gone out announcing a Summer Experience Night for
November 11. That, as you know, turned out to be the world's first Armistice
Day. The announcement of the following meeting on November 25, sent
out by Secretary Cogswell Bentley, is eloquent in its understatement:
"Our last meeting had strong competition from News From The Front.
Very few were present. We expect a large attendance on the 25th to hear
Dr. W. H. Jordan of the
New York State Experiment Station at Geneva speak 'Government Aid to
Agriculture'." On March 11 of that year, Captain F. C. Hamilton
of the University of Rochester spoke to the Academy on "Modern
Warfare--From Personal Experience" and at the next meeting on the
25th Dr. Robert G. Cook of Canandaigua spoke on "Aircraft in War."
On May 26, 1919,
the Academy heard Kodak's Director of Research, Dr. C.E.K. Mees ' lecture
on the "The Camera in War" and on October 13 Dr. Louis A.
Pechstein, University Of Rochester Psychology Professor, spoke on "Military
Therefore, during those World War I years we find a Rochester Academy
of Science with a membership totaling 121 (5 Honorary, 29 Corresponding,
and 87 Active, of whom 27 were Fellows). There were three working sections:
Botany with 33 members, Entomology with 22, and Geology with 18. The
Academy had published, since 1902, two more volumes of the Proceedings
totaling 529 pages of vital local scientific information. For nearly
20 years the Academy had staged many meetings of concern to local scientists
in many fields, and it was solvent!
THE 1920 COUNCIL
Accounting for Academy events in the 1920's, 1930's, and 1940's must
be done under difficulties because the secretary's minutes for those
years are missing. Apparently they never were deposited in the Archives
and so far no trace of their whereabouts has been found. Fortunately,
other records provide much information but many exact dates and details
are lost. Here are some of the officers who took on Academy responsibilities
during those boom and bust years of the 1920's. Some of their terms
extend for many years before and after the 1920's.
President from 1919 through 1921 was George L. English, mineralogist
at Ward's Natural Science Establishment, whose
worldwide travels in search of mineral specimens gained him and Rochester
much renown in geology circles. He was succeeded in 1922-25 by Professor
Frederick W. C. Meyer, of the Rochester Theological Seminary. Cogswell
Bentley served as president in 1926-27. Mr. Bentley operated the Fairport
Ice and Cold Storage Company for many years. President in 1928-29 was
Mr. William H. Boardman, a photographer with headquarters at 1060 South
First Vice-President in 1919-20 was Mr. Florus R. Baxter, of the Vacuum
Oil Company. He had served before in that capacity from 1910 to 1914.
Second Vice-President during those same years was Dr. J. Livingston
Roseboom, a physician with offices at 672 Main Street East. Secretary
was Milroy N. Stewart, who was destined to serve in that capacity for
the next 29 years. It is his minutes that are missing from the Archives.
Many of his letters in the correspondence files indicate what a tremendous
service he rendered the Academy over all those years. He appears to
have been practically a one-man program committee and many other Academy
problems seem to have found their way into his hands for disposition.
If those minutes were kept as meticulously as his other records indicate,
their loss to the Academy is indeed most unfortunate.
In 1921 Dr. William D. Merrell ended 20 years of service as Corresponding
Secretary. Those duties at first were concerned largely with maintaining
correspondence with Corresponding Members and with various groups exchanging
publications with the Proceedings. Corresponding memberships dwindled
and that class eventually was discontinued. Exchange publication matters
came to be dealt with directly by the Librarian. Dr. Merrell was not
replaced and an amendment to the constitution in 1922 virtually eliminated
that office. It was not restored until 1946. Dr. Merrell, however, remained
active for many more years and in 1937 was the senior author of an article
in the Proceedings on the flora of Bergen Swamp.
The Academy treasurer was George Wendt, a Vice-President of Mechanics
Savings Bank, who served in that capacity from 1916 until 1944. The
Academy indeed was fortunate in having its finances in such capable
hands during those difficult years that included two world wars and
the Great Depression. (A 1921 letter indicates that at one time we held
a mortgage on a farm in Alberta that was on the point of failing.) On
the Council were other long-term officers whom we already have met.
Florence L. Beckwith was chairman of the Botany Section from 1897 until
her death in 1929 and she also served as Councilor from 1902 until 1929.
Professor Fairchild's terms as Councilor extended nearly continuously
from 1902 until 1938.
A PATRON IS MADE
At the end of 1920, Professor Fairchild retired from active teaching
at the University of Rochester. At the Academy meeting on December 13,
1920, a special ceremony was marked by the reading of a document entitled
"An Appreciation" that had been signed by all the members
of the Academy Council. We quote the last two paragraphs of that document:
"The Academy owes a great debt to Professor Herman Leroy Fairchild
for the continuance of its existence, for his untiring perseverance
in working for its welfare, and for the inspiration of his enthusiasm,
wide knowledge and genial personality.
The highest honor which the academy can confer upon a member is to
make him a PATRON, a title which is given for eminent services. To show
our appreciation of the work he has done for the Society, the Council
recommends that the title of PATRON be given by the Rochester Academy
of Science to Professor Herman Leroy Fairchild."
The recommendation was adopted by a unanimous rising vote.
VIRTUALLY FREE MEETING PLACES
A 1920 letter from University of Rochester President Rush Rhees to Secretary
Milroy Stewart points up one aspect of the good fortune we enjoyed in
our close relationship with the University of Rochester. Dr. Rhees states
that "It is agreeable to the University of Rochester for you to
meet in the Biology Lecture Room as heretofore, provided you arrange
meeting schedules with Professor Dodge and pay a janitor for opening
the building." For many, many years the
Academy enjoyed virtually free meeting places at the University of Rochester.
That close relationship, of course, was due in no small measure to the
active involvement in Academy affairs of members of the University of
Rochester faculty. Besides Professor Fairchild and others we already
have met, these included Dr. Harold L. Alling and Dr. J. Edward Hoffmeister
of the Geology Department, Dr. Sherman C. Bishop of the Biology Department
and Dr. Floyd C. Fairbanks, Professor of Physics and Astronomy.
Another aspect of that close relationship came about in 1929 when an
agreement was signed by President Rhees and Academy President William
H. Boardman whereby all Academy library material is deposited permanently
in the University Library and receives the same treatment as material
belonging to the University, yet Academy ownership is retained. The
University Librarian automatically becomes
the Academy librarian ex-officio. Also, Academy members in good standing
are granted the same privileges throughout the University library as
are enjoyed by University students. That agreement continues in effect
SOME MEETINGS IN THE 1920's
Regular Academy meetings continued to be held twice a month until 1927
when they were reduced to one a month, possibly because of attendance
problems. Titles of some of the papers read at those meetings often
point up the great changes (as well as similarities) in concerns and
attitudes that have taken place in the 50-odd years since. On February
23, 1920, Raymond N. Arnot spoke on "The Economic Supremacy of
America." On May 5, 1922, Dr. Merrell spoke on "The Present
Status of the Evolutionary Theory." Only three years later came
the famous trial involving William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow,
when John Scopes, the Kentucky school teacher, was convicted and fined,
$100 for teaching the theory of organic evolution. Other subjects heard
by Academy audiences in 1922 included "Life history and Habits
of the Lake Lamprey," "Our Fast Dwindling Forest Resources,"
and in a joint meeting with the Optical Society of America, "The
Atomic Theory and Astrophysics."
Roswell H. Ward, a grandson of Henry A. Ward, read a paper in 1924
on "The Development of the Airplane and Its Application to Commercial
Aviation" and another one in 1925 dealing with the same subject.
Later, Mr. Ward wrote the complete story of his grandfather's career
and the development of Ward's Natural Science Establishment. It appeared
as a volume in the Centennial History of Rochester in 1933. At another
joint meeting with the Optical Society of America on April 28, 1925,
the subject was "Transmission of Pictures by Wireless" presented
by Herbert E. Ives.
A PROPOSED ACADEMY-MUSEUM PARTNERSHIP
In 1926 came the news of the successful conclusion of an aggressive
financial and membership campaign by the Buffalo Society of Natural
Sciences which resulted in the fine new museum building they were then
in the process of erecting. In May of that year a committee consisting
of Academy President Cogswell Bentley, 2nd Vice-President A. C. Hawkins,
and Treasurer George Wendt met with Dr. Arthur C. Parker, Director of
the Municipal Museum at Edgerton Park. They discussed in depth the possibility
of the Rochester Academy of Science launching a similar effort in Rochester.
Dr. Parker especially was highly in favor of such a move by the Academy
since he then was having a membership drive for the Municipal Museum.
In a letter of June 3, 1926, to Mr. Bentley he suggests "a similar
aggressive campaign for new members with a similar goal of establishing
and he offers to furnish space for an Academy headquarters including
library, laboratory, and exhibit space.
At the regular Academy meeting on February 28, 1927, Dr. Parker read
a paper, "The Relation of an Academy of Science to a Museum,"
in which he proposed a course of action whereby the Academy would function
as a general clearing house for all local scientific societies and would
coordinate their programs for less conflict of date and place. The Academy
would enlist those other societies as sectional members paying a per
capita amount to be used to publish a joint program to be mailed to
all. He suggested he call a general meeting of all the local scientific
societies, such as the Optical society of America and the American Chemical
Society, to discuss a plan for coordinating the various bodies under
Academy leadership as a centralized institution through which all could
Dr. Parker served the Academy as 2nd Vice-President in 1927 and as
Councilor from 1928 to 1936. No records are left to indicate the reactions
of the Academy or the Council to his suggestions, except for a letter
to him from Cogswell Bentley in which he expresses the feeling that
"unless the Rochester Academy of Science can become aggressively
active it will continue to become more aggressively passive." Dr.
Parker's proposals, however, appear to add up to a fairly close picture
of the Academy today with its five active, working sections, except
that the Optical Society and the American Chemical Society are not among
those sections. In due course a new building and increased membership
came to the Museum through a somewhat different course of events.
The 1920's also saw the completion of Volume 6 of the Proceedings.
Its 300 page included five papers on the geology of the Rochester area,
four of them by Professor Fairchild. The other was "Minerals of
the Niagara Limestone," by Albert W. Giles. There was also a paper
titled "Aboriginal Cultures and Chronology of the Genesee Country"
by Dr. Arthur C. Parker and two papers on mycology by Charles E. Fairman,
"Fungi of our Common Nuts and Pits" and "New Or Rare
Fungi From Various Localities." Publication expenses were met in
part by the results of a Publication Fund drive undertaken in 1920 with
a goal of $5,000. Records of final results of the drive are missing
but as of December 13, 1920, $6,000 had been raised, much of it due
to the personal efforts of Professor Fairchild.
THE LEAN YEARS
As they were for everyone, the 1930's were difficult years for the
Rochester Academy of Science. Membership figures reflect the extent
of those difficulties. In 1930 the Academy had 89 members; in 1935 there
were only 48. By 1940 the figure had climbed back to 107. Those were
the years of THE DEPRESSION. Annual dues had been reduced to $2.00,
yet many still were unable to afford them. The fact that the Academy
managed accomplishments beyond mere survival is due to the efforts of
those on the Council who were willing to assume the responsibilities
involved. Some of them served for many years, possibly because no one
else was available to replace them.
Elected President in 1930 was Dr. Floyd C. Fairbanks, Professor of Physics
and Astronomy at the University of Rochester. He was destined to continue
the responsibilities of that position for the next 15 years. Re-elected
Secretary and Treasurer were Milroy Stewart and George Wendt, whom we
already have met and who already had served in those positions through
the 1920's and who would continue them well into the 1940's. Four of
the Councilors also served continuously all through the 1930's. That
situation gave rise to occasional comments to the effect that the Academy
was a closed corporation whose officers kept succeeding themselves.
That probably was the case to some extent and it probably was a reflection
of the times and the extremely small membership. Nevertheless it is
to those people we owe the fact that the Academy did more than survive
the difficult years of the 1930's.
Not the least of those accomplishments was the publication of Volume
7 of the Proceedings, covering the years 1929 to 1937. In its more than
200 pages were 9 papers, 7 of which were written by Academy members.
Four of those seven dealt with the geology and glaciology of western
New York and were written by (who else?) Professor Fairchild, who, it
should be noted, was in his 80's. Milton S. Baxter and Thomas P. Maloy
were the authors of "Arboriculture at Rochester, N.Y." which
traces the development of Rochester's extensive nursery industry and
of its park system. It makes interesting reading even today. "Petrology
of the Niagara Gorge Sediments" was by Dr. Harold L. Alling, who
was a grandson of Professor Samuel A. Lattimore, the first president
of the Academy's parent group, the Rochester Microscopical Society.
Dr. William D. Merrell was the senior
author with Paul A. Stewart of "The Bergen Swamp: An Ecological
ANOTHER FAIRCHILD HONOR
The Academy's annual meeting of 1932 was a very special one, held on
January 14 in Todd Union at the University of Rochester River Campus.
It was preceded by a dinner in honor of Dr. Fairchild, whose title by
then had become Professor Emeritus of Geology. Many widely known educators
and scientists were there and to quote from the newspaper account, they
"heaped acclaim on the honored guest." Highlight of the meeting
was the unveiling in Chester Dewey Hall of a life size bust of Professor
Fairchild, which was presented to the University by the Rochester Academy
of Science. The bust had been cast in bronze from an original done by
Blanca Will, a local artist and sculptor who also was Director of Instruction
at the Memorial Art Gallery. Speaker of the evening was Dr. Heinrich
Ries of Cornell. His subject was "Industrial Applications of Geology."
Somehow, during all the festivities, it was kept in mind that officially
this was the annual meeting of the Rochester Academy of Science and
Dr. Fairbanks and the rest of the incumbent officers were re-elected.
THE ACADEMY THE BEGINNINGS OF A NATIONAL PARK
In 1933 a proposal for the establishment of an Everglades National
Park was being considered by committees of the United States Congress.
Acting on a request by the Ecological Society of America, Secretary
Milroy Stewart had written our congressmen urging their approval of
such a measure. In the Archives are letters from Representatives James
W. Wadsworth and James L. Whitley, both to the effect that the matter
of an Everglades National Park was unlikely
to reach the floor for consideration by that Congress, the 73rd. They
were too busy with measures concerned with recovery from the Depression.
In 1934, however, the next Congress did approve an Everglades National
Park but they failed to appropriate the necessary funds. It was not
until 1947 that the Park finally was dedicated by President Truman.
WE HOST THE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA
In 1934 the Geological Society of America held its 47th annual meeting
in Rochester on December 27-29. Members of the Academy's Geology Section
and the University of Rochester geology faculty were active in hosting
the visitors and making the local arrangements. Sessions were held at
the University of Rochester River Campus. Headquarters were at the old
Seneca Hotel on Clinton Avenue South. The hotel is
long gone and the site is now occupied by parts of the Midtown Plaza
complex. An indication of how times have changed is revealed in the
fact that on December 28 the sessions were followed by the Geological
Society's Annual Smoker.
THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE
In 1936 Rochester was host for the second time to the American Association
for the Advancement of Science when their 98th meeting was held here
on June 16-18. Responsibilities for the local arrangements were assumed
largely by members of the University of Rochester faculty, not all of
whom were Academy members. Professor Fairchild was named Honorary Chairman
of the local committee. Dr. J. Edward Hoffmeister was Chairman. Secretary
was University of Rochester Professor W. R. Line and Treasurer was University
of Rochester Treasurer Raymond L. Thompson. Under them were the several
subcommittees that arranged for matters such as Program, Publicity,
Meeting Rooms and Equipment, Field Trips, and Entertainment. The various
sections of the AAAS had increased since 1892 from 8 to 12. Arrangements
for their individual sessions were under the direction of various faculty
members. Dr. Harold L. Alling managed the sessions of the Geology and
Geography Section. Dr. Merrell did the same for the Section on Botanical
Sciences and Dr. Walter R. Bloor for the Section on Chemistry. Other
sessions were overseen by other faculty members not members of the Academy.
Headquarters were at the Seneca Hotel and practically all the sessions
were held at the University of Rochester River Campus and at the School
of Medicine and Dentistry. One event at this meeting was a comparatively
new AAAS development, an Annual Symposium, that year sponsored by the
Ecological Society of America. The subject chosen was "Scientific
Aspects of Flood Control." We quote from the record of the event
published in Science for July 31, 1936. "A violent storm broke
before the hour of the meeting and lasted several hours. it interfered
seriously with the assembly of an audience."
All the evening general sessions were held in the Eastman Theater. Presiding
at the Tuesday evening session was AAAS President Edwin G. Conklin.
In his introductory remarks he spoke of the last meeting here 44 years
ago in 1892 and he had much to say in praise of the accomplishments
of Professor Fairchild, who was ill and could not attend. Speaker for
that meeting was Dr. C. E. Kenneth Mees, whose subject was "Color
Photography." Speaker for the Wednesday evening general session
was Dr. Charles Causell of Canada's Department of Mines. He described
"A 4000 Mile Flight Over Northwest Canada." Following that
session a reception was held in the corridors of the Eastman School
Perhaps a few were there who remembered that 44 years ago the AAAS general
sessions were held in the YMCA Music Hall at the corner of South Avenue
and Court Street.
Speaker at the last general session on Thursday evening was Dr. Carl
Snyder, statistician for the Federal Reserve Bank in New York. His subject
was "The Role of Capitalism in Civilization. At a special luncheon
on Thursday noon the Bausch & Lomb Optical Company presented its
250,000th microscope to Dr. Frederick G. Novy of the University of Michigan,
who had been chosen to receive it by the AAAS for his research in bacteriology.
Field trips were arranged for all the delegates. There were industrial
tours and exhibits at Bausch & Lomb, Eastman Kodak, Delco, Gleason
Works, Taylor Instrument Company, Ward's Natural Science Establishment,
Will Corporation and Stromberg Carlson. Botanists were taken to Bergen
Swamp, Mendon Ponds and Highland Park and the geologists were able to
visit the many points of their special interests. Radio Stations WHAM
and WHEC furnished complete radio coverage for most of the sessions.
A CONCERN FOR THE FUTURE
A mounting concern for the Academy's future manifested itself during
the 1930's. The extremely small membership meant a corresponding lack
of financial income, and it was felt that the Academy's world-wide reputation
as an outstanding organization for the advancement of scientific knowledge
was declining. In an effort to address this problem, in January 1939,
President Fairbanks appointed a special committee to explore ways of
improving and restoring some of those important Academy activities.
Serving on that committee were Dr. Sherman C. Bishop and William S.
Cornwell. At the end of February they submitted their report. It had
high praise for the Academy's educational work in disseminating scientific
knowledge among its members, as exemplified in the functioning of its
several sections. It recommended extension of that work as much as possible.
As for the Academy's other important function, that of encouraging the
advancement of scientific knowledge by qualified individuals in Rochester,
the committee found a definite lack of attention. They noted the exceptionally
large number of highly qualified scientific personnel connected with
Rochester's photographic, chemical, optical and other industries and
they noted the exceptionally small proportion of those people who were
Academy members. They felt that the Academy's program was insufficiently
broad to attract such people. There was high praise for success of the
Proceedings but the committee felt that a continued lack of original
contributions to scientific knowledge by Academy members to be published
in their own journal might even lead to "complete extinction of
Several recommendations for improving those defects were proposed for
consideration. They can be summarized as follows: (1) Compile and maintain
a mailing list of Rochester scientific personnel, whether or not members
of the Academy and plan monthly programs designed especially to attract
them. (2) Establish a special section for qualified scientists whose
interests and attainments are beyond that of a mere interest in science.
(3) Appoint a carefully chosen Ways and Means Committee to make concrete
proposals leading to a fund raising program. (4) Promote Academy membership
among members of other specialized scientific groups in Rochester. Those
recommendations led to the formation later of a short-lived Research
section and to a successful membership campaign in the 1940's about
which we will hear more in due course.
SOME GENERAL MEETINGS
The 1940's were years of great change for everyone. Fully half of the
decade was concerned with World War II and it marked the beginning of
the Atomic Age. It was a time when people had many priorities other
than Academy affairs, yet Academy meetings continued much as usual on
the third Thursday of each month, October to May. The meeting of April
27, 1941, was a special one held to celebrate the 60th anniversary of
the founding of the Botany Section. The Academy welcomed as its speaker
Dr. Josiah Lowe of the State College of Forestry at Syracuse. His topic
was "Lichens." Present in the audience that evening was a
Miss Isles, who 59 years before had presented a paper on that very same
subject. She had joined the Academy and its Botany Section less than
a year after their founding in 1881. Volume 8, Number 4 of the Proceedings,
which appeared in September 1941, was dedicated to the Botany Section
and to the memory of Milton S. Baxter, the eminent local botanist whose
death had occurred in 1938.
A joint meeting on November 25, 1941, with the Rochester Astronomical
Society and the Optical Society of America was held on the University
of Rochester River Campus. The speaker was the distinguished astronomer
of the Yerkes Observatory, Dr. Chandrasekhar, whose subject was "The
Dynamics of Stellar Systems." Less than four years later the Rochester
Astronomical Society became the Astronomy Section of the Rochester Academy
of Science. Another joint meeting, on February 16, 1942, with the Morgan
Chapter of the New York State Archeological Association, was held in
the new Bausch Hall of the Rochester Museum of Arts and Sciences on
East Avenue. It was the first public lecture to
be held in the building, which was not yet completed. The speaker was
Dr. Arthur C. Parker, Director of the Museum and, as we have seen, also
active in Academy affairs. His topic was "Revivals of Material
Culture Among the Iroquois." On May 11 of that year the Academy
heard Dr. Dudley S. DeGroot, football coach and Professor of Physical
Education at the University of Rochester. His topic was "Bird Migration"
but he digressed from that title to recount his various experiences
in acquiring his extensive bird's egg collection of over 10,000 specimens.
Undoubtedly some members of the Genesee Ornithological Society were
at that meeting but it was not until four years later that the group
became the Ornithology Section of the Rochester Academy of Science.
THE PASSING OF A PATRON
Overshadowing other Academy events was the death on November 29, 1943,
of Herman Leroy Fairchild at the age of 93. He has been referred to
often in these pages but it is doubtful if an adequate idea of the full
impact of his influence on Academy affairs has been conveyed. Far beyond
the local and western New York region his reputation as a leading geologist
and scientist was nationwide and indeed worldwide. To say that the Academy's
international reputation as an important scientific body is due largely
to Professor Fairchild's efforts is surely no exaggeration.
Volume 9, No. 1 of the Proceedings , published in 1946, was dedicated
to Professor Fairchild. Its leading article, "Herman Leroy Fairchild,
Geologist," by Dr. J. Edward Hoffmeister, gives an excellent and
appreciative account of his life, especially of his accomplishments
locally for the Academy and the University. In the Proceedings of the
Geological Society of America for 1944 there is a long "Memorial
To Herman Leroy Fairchild" by George Halcott Chadwick, who was
one of Fairchild's students and who became a distinguished geologist
in his own right. It chronicles a complete account of Fairchild's life,
with more details about his incredible achievements nationally and internationally.
In the Academy Archives is a typewritten undated document entitled "Herman
Leroy Fairchild 1851-1943." Whether or not it was ever published
anywhere is not clear from any records available. As an eloquent eulogy
it seems appropriate to reproduce it here.
"HERMAN LEROY FAIRCHILD 1851-194311
"In the passing of Herman Leroy Fairchild the Rochester Academy
of Science has lost its first Patron. We gave him that title when every
other honor we could confer was
already his. He had been President of the Academy; he was a Fellow and
a Life Member; a perennial Councilor. Each station he had filled and
To the Academy, Dr. Fairchild was a Patron in the truest sense. He
had saved its life in a critical
time and fostered its growth in better days. Ever zealous for the spread
of knowledge, he
believed in the Academy's power for good as a sponsor of right-thinking,
and the diffusion of
scientific information. Always practical in his viewpoint, he worked
hard at laying a financial foundation for our publications and guarded
our resources with wise counsel.
When speakers disappointed, it was Fairchild who helped out the Program
Committee. When manuscripts were not forthcoming, it was Fairchild who
succored the Publications Committee. When funds were low, it was again
Fairchild who saved the financial structure from dissolution. When--since
Maecenas--has there been a truer Patron?
Much praise has been justly given to Dr. Fairchild's discoveries in
geology--to his teaching skill--to his important writings--to his influence
as a public spirited citizen of Rochester--still more to his personal
merits as a friend. All of this we second and applaud. To it we can
add only our mite.
Yet this we can say as members of the Academy of Science: At the end
of a long and fruitful life, it was to his beloved Academy that his
thoughts returned, and it was in accord with his expressed wishes that
when his ashes were finally scattered on the Genesee, they were entrusted
to the hands of its secretary and its treasurer, while the Academy's
president committed that' great soul to its Creator. May he rest in
Milroy Stewart, Secretary
In 1944 it was decided to establish an on-going series to be called
the Fairchild Memorial Lectures, one to be given every other year. The
first one occurred on February 17, 1944. It was given by Dr. J. Edward
Hoffmeister, whose subject was "The Nature of the Ocean Bottom."
The affair was sponsored by the Mineral Section. The second one was
given on May 16, 1946. The speaker was Professor 0. D. Engelen of Cornell's
Geology Department. His topic was "The Finger Lakes East; The Finger
Lakes West," and it supported a theory somewhat different from
the theory supported by Professor Fairchild on the evolution of the
north-flowing outlets of the Finger Lakes. Fairchild Memorial Lectures
have been given every other year since.
On June 25, 1946, the capital funds of the Academy were given the name
Fairchild Memorial Fund. we quote from the News & Notes section
of the Proceedings, Volume 9, No. 2,
June 1948, page 142: "The earnings of this fund may be used at
the discretion of the Council to defray publication expenses or any
other suitable academic purpose. The Publication Account of the Academy
is part of this fund and into it are paid $1.00 of the annual dues of
each active member, not less than half of payments for Life Membership,
all voluntary contributions, the earnings from investments and the receipts
from the sale of publications. From time to time surpluses over and
above current publication needs are permanently invested in bonds considered
suitable as security for trust funds. These investments are recommended
to the Council by the Finance Committee of which Mr. George Wendt is
Chairman. On January 16, 1948, the invested portion of this fund totaled
$5,853.00. It is hoped that the Fund may be rapidly augmented by contributions
from individuals and from industrial and other organizations so that
the income from the Fund will eventually be sufficient for basic publication
needs and permit the granting of scholarships or prizes to stimulate
and reward individual research and other contributions to science."
PRESIDENT FAIRBANKS RETIRES
In the spring of 1945, when Professor Fairbanks retired as Professor
of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Rochester, he also relinquished
the presidency of the Academy. It marked the end of 15 years of the
responsibilities of that office. He had guided the Academy through a
depression and a world war, with all the accompanying problems of membership,
programming and finances. The May 17, 1945 meeting was planned especially
to honor him. It was held at the Rochester Museum of Arts and Sciences
and the speaker of the evening was Dr. J. Edward Hoffmeister, whose
subject was "Landing Problems in Pacific Warfare" Tributes
to Professor Fairbanks' services both to the University and to the Academy
were read as he was awarded an honorary Life Membership. A reception
in the Museum's craft room followed the meeting.
Succeeding Professor Fairbanks as Academy president was Dr. Sherman
C. Bishop, Professor of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of Rochester.
He served during 1946 and 1947 and was succeeded by Dr. Robert L. Roudabush,
then on the staff at Ward's Natural Science Establishment, who served
in 1948 and 1949. one of the outstanding developments of the 1940's
was the formation of new working sections. In 1942 there were three
sections: Botany, Mineralogy, and Research. The latter was formed in
1941 and ceased operations in 1943.' By the end of the decade there
were nine active sections. A Photography Section was organized in 1943.
1945 the Rochester Astronomical Society became the Astronomy Section
of the Academy and the Weather Science Section was organized. The Genesee
ornithological Society (GOS) became the Ornithology Section in 1946
and the Entomology Section was reactivated in that same year. 1947 saw
the formation of a Physical Anthropology Section and a second Botany
Section called Botany "B" to pursue botanical matters other
than the strictly taxonomical work of the original Botany "A"
Section. The impact of those new sections is reflected in membership
figures. In 1940 there were 107 members; in 1945, 181; in 1946, 365;
in 1947, 383, and in 1948, 460.
Much of the success of the above developments was due to the efforts
of David E. Jensen, who was chairman of the Committee on Sections and
Membership and the mineralogist at Ward's Natural Science Establishment.
Besides his activities in the Mineral Section, he served as councilor
in 1938 to 1940 and in 1947 and As Vice-president in 1948 and 1949.
In 1947 he organized a membership drive whose watchword was "Every
Member Get a Member." Competition between sections was also encouraged.
An astonishing amount of newspaper publicity was achieved, largely through
the efforts of a Publicity Committee consisting of Elizabeth Keiper,
Recorder of the Entomology Section and Garden Editor of the Rochester
Times-Union, and Mrs. David E. Jensen, Corresponding Secretary of the
Concurrent with the membership Drive was another one for contributions
to the Fairchild Memorial Fund, under the direction of Mrs. Harold L.
Alling. Figures on the results of that effort are not available at this
writing but the correspondence files are full of letters written to
Rochester's major industries and leading businessman. Many of them were
written by Cogswell Bentley, who served on Mrs. Alling's committee and
frequently reported to her. The replies to those letters form a fascinating
collection of polite, tactful, eloquent, regretful but firm refusals.
They should be preserved as reference material. That drive could not
have been a success.
A revised constitution and a new set of by-laws were adopted in 1946.
The size of the previously unwieldy Council was limited to the five
elected officers, the six councilors and the chairmen of each section.
Formerly the section recorders were on the Council. The by-laws also
changed the election procedure which previously had been by balloting
at the January annual meetings. It was changed to the method now in
use whereby the balloting is by mail and the officers chosen take office
the following June. The
office of Corresponding Secretary was restored after having been in
abeyance since an amendment in 1922 specified the office of "Secretary
or Secretaries." Mrs. David E. Jensen was chosen for the post and
she served in that capacity for the next 30 years.
BIRTH OF THE BULLETIN
Ever since the mid-thirties Academy mailings had been taken care of
at Ward's Natural Science Establishment through the generosity of Dr.
Dean A. Gamble, the president of Ward's, who made their mailing facilities
available to the Academy at cost. Dr. Gamble, was Academy Vice-President
from 1937 to 1944 and a Councilor in 1945 and 1946, besides serving
on the Publications Committee for the Proceedings. For various reasons
it became necessary for Ward's to discontinue Academy mailings. Consequently
it devolved upon the Corresponding Secretary to maintain an up-to-date
mailing list and send out notices of meetings and the dues notices for
the Treasurer. That led to the birth of the Bulletin.
With the formation of all the new working sections, postcards became
inadequate for the news that needed to be circulated. So, in October
1946, members received Volume 1 Number 1 of the Academy Bulletin, a
quarterly of six mimeographed pages covering October, November and December
events. Mrs. David Jensen had gathered the material, typed the stencils
and mailed the finished product, all of which, with around 400 members,
was no small undertaking. Volume 1 Number 2 was also a quarterly covering
January through March 1948. After that the Bulletins were issued monthly,
partly because it was difficult to get people to plan events three months
ahead. The mimeograph format and another arrangement with a spirit duplicator
continued for about three years until arrangements were made with the
Commercial Controls Corporation to do the printing on their newly developed
Justowriter apparatus. That continued until 1959 when the Bulletin appeared
in its present format.
"EXCURSIONS IN SCIENCE"
Early in 1946 the Academy became involved in the development of an
elaborate organization of various Rochester scientific groups into a
program called "Excursions in Science," designed to aid young
people in their understanding of science and the opportunities it offers
as a vocation. Its first programs included several on optics and microscopy,
one on plastics and one on the vocational opportunities in photography.
They were well attended and appeared to be considered worthwhile by
the many participating groups. Records are lacking as to the subsequent
activities and success of the project. The idea persisted, however,
and took shape in such future projects as the
Rochester Committee for Scientific Information designed to give aid
to students, scientific projects in the schools, and the American Association
for the Advancement of Science program of grants to students.
A SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP
Many Academy events and developments do not fit easily into arbitrary
time periods such as the 40's or 50's or 60's. One such development
began in 1942 with the completion of the new Bausch Hall of the Rochester
Museum of Arts and sciences on East Avenue. As we have seen, the first
meeting in the building was a joint one of the Academy and the Morgan
Chapter when Dr. Parker, the Museum's director, was the speaker. Then
there is a letter dated January 16, 1946, to Secretary Milroy Stewart
from Dr. Parker's successor as director of the Museum, Mr. W. Stephen
Thomas. In it he expresses the certainty that the cordial relations
established with Dr. Parker will continue. He speaks of his keen interest
in science clubs and assures his cooperation in regard to meeting places,
subject to commitments already made.
Over the next 25 and more years those cordial relations and that cooperation
developed into practically a symbiotic relationship. Gradually Academy
and section meetings formerly held elsewhere moved to the Museum facilities.
There were Craft Rooms A and B in the basement, with an adjoining kitchen,
and for a while there was a smaller meeting room on the 3rd floor with
an attached kitchen. For larger general meetings there was the Small
Auditorium on the first floor. All were available at very nominal costs
not only for Academy and section meetings but to other groups comprising
the Hobby Council. As an example, the general meeting of May 19 1949,
took place in the Small Auditorium. The speaker was Dr. Walter C. Muenscher
of Cornell and his subject was "Some Aspects of Plant Distribution
in the State of Washington." Following the meeting a reception
was held in one of the downstairs craft rooms in honor of Milroy Stewart
who was retiring after 29 years of service as Academy Secretary. That
was typical of the hundreds of Academy meetings that took place in the
Museum over the years to come. Many meetings were sponsored jointly
by the Museum and the Academy and on some occasions the Burroughs Audubon
Dr. Edward T. Boardman, the Museum's assistant director, became very
active in Academy affairs, serving a term as President and two terms
as a Councilor, besides working with the various sections, especially
Botany and Entomology and ornithology. His active involvement played
a big part in the continuing mutually agreeable relations between the
Museum and the Academy that lasted into the 1970's. Both he and Mr.
Thomas were awarded Academy Fellowships in 1950 and
1951. Truly the relationship between the two organizations was close
to being symbiotic. The Museum furnished the meeting places and the
Academy , furnished the nucleus of nature-oriented people needed to
populate and enliven the Museum's halls and to man some of its projects.
The 1940's also saw the publication of Volume 8 of the Proceedings
and the first three numbers of Volume 9. Editing was done by a Publications
Committee that included Dr. Gamble, Dr. Hoffmeister, Dr. Goddard, Dr.
Fairbanks, Mr. Russell, Dr. Bishop and several others. They rotated
the chairmanship of the committee so that responsibility for producing
every issue did not fall on any one person. William S. Cornwell edited
Volume 9, No. 2, that appeared in 1948.
Volume 8 appeared in the years 1941 to 1943. Its 299 pages included
articles ranging from one on the "Fireflies of Jamaica" to
one on "The Flora of Mendon Ponds Park." The latter was by
Dr. Richard Goodwin of the Botany Section. It appeared in the single
issue numbered 5 and 6, together with "Notes on the Flora of Monroe
County, New York," by Dr. Goodwin and Dr. Royal E. Shanks. Those
articles, and a series on "The Vegetation of Bergen Swamp"
that appeared in Volume 9, added significantly to the massive amount
of material already published in the Proceedings on the plant life of
the Rochester area. Volume 8, No. 4, was dedicated to the Botany Section
and to the memory of Milton S. Baxter, whose contributions to the work
of that Section were outstandingly valuable.
OFFICERS AND SOME "FIRSTS"
Perhaps a good way to begin an account of the 1950's is to introduce
the officers who were elected in 1950. President was Dr. Robert J. Bloor
of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Vice-President
was David E. Jensen, whom we already have met. The Secretary was Dr.
John Russell of the Kodak Research Laboratory--not to be confused with
Mr. John R. Russell of the University of Rochester Library, who served
as Academy Librarian from 1941 through the 1950's. Dr. Robert E. Stauffer
of the Kodak Research Laboratories, was elected Treasurer. These people
took office in June 1950, and served until June 1951. They were re-elected
in January 1951, to serve until June 1952, except for Mr. Jensen, who
was replaced as Vice-President by Paul W. Stevens.
That Annual Meeting of January 18, 1951, was an especially significant
"first." Instead of a formal lecture the program consisted
entirely of reports, exhibits and demonstrations by members of each
of the Sections as they described their activities during the past year.
The meeting was especially well attended and the program so well received
that its format generally has been followed, with variations, at annual
meetings ever since.
Another "first" actually was a "first and only."
Beginning in 1952 there was a series of four consecutive one-term presidents.
Robert E. Stauffer served in 1952-53 (remember the terms run from June
to June). He was followed by Dr. Babette I. Brown in 1953-54 and she
by Dr. Edward T. Boardman in 1954-55. Reginald W. Hartwell was fourth
and last of the series. Except for George H. Chadwick, who left town
in 1918, there have been no other one-term presidents in the Academy's
100-year history. No special reason for the phenomenon is evident. Records
do not indicate that the Academy gained any special benefits from it
or that any particular damage was done, except perhaps to hard-working
DUES ARE RAISED
An extraordinary accomplishment was brought off by the Academy Councils
of 1951-52 and 1952-53. They raised the annual dues twice in less than
one year. At its meeting of November 9, 1951, the Council, headed by
Dr. Bloor, discussed the matter of raising dues from $2.00 to $3.00,
and they passed a resolution to present the matter to the membership.
This was done in the manner prescribed by the Constitution and at the
January 17, 1952, Annual Meeting the By-Laws were amended (by a ballot
vote of 30 to 8) so as to raise the dues to $3.00. When the new Council,
headed by Dr. Stauffer, met on August 8, 1952, further discussion of
revision of the By-Laws took place and decisions were made that resulted
in the passage of three amendments at the general meeting of October
29, 1952. First, the former junior membership class was changed to a
student membership at $1.00 per year available to any student enrolled
in a duly accredited educational institution. Second, annual dues were
raised to $5.00. Third, the number of general meetings required to be
held per year was reduced from eight to four.
DR. BISHOP DIES
Members were saddened by the death in the summer of 1951 of Dr. Sherman
C. Bishop, who was Academy president in 1946 and 1947. For most of the
1940's he was active on the
Publications Committee responsible for publishing the Proceedings. In
fact, Volume 9, No. 3, consists entirely of his paper titled "The
Phalangida (Opiliones) of New York." Opiliones are a group that
includes the creatures we know as Daddy-longlegs. During his years as
Professor of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of Rochester, Dr.
Bishop became a widely known authority on the Amphibians, as well as
the Arachnids. His Handbook of Salamanders became a standard reference
work. In 1953 a collection of thirteen volumes on ornithological subjects
that had belonged to Dr. Bishop was given to the Academy by Cogswell
Bentley and deposited in the University of Rochester library.
SOME GENERAL MEETINGS
On November 19, 1953, the general meeting took the form of a symposium
conducted entirely by Astronomy members on the general subject of photographing
eclipses. It ended with a star party held on the Museum roof where several
telescopes were focused on various celestial objects of interest in
a sky that happened to be clear that night. Those were the days before
the Planetarium. The program of December 18, 1954, consisted of two
movies: "Insect Catchers of Bog and Jungle" and "How
Trees Grow." The films were made by Dr. William M. Harlow, the
widely known botanist and author of handbooks on trees. Commentary was
by Botany Section member Clair Smith.
The Council for 1955-56 decided to plan the program for that year around
a central theme and they chose "Atomic Energy" as the general
subject. Since the Atomic Age was in its infancy then (as it still is),
we list those five meetings to give an idea of the thinking on the subject
25 years ago.
November 18, 1955. "Facts About Hazards and Research on the Fallout
From Nuclear Radiation." Dr. Maynard E. Smith, meterologist of
the Brookhaven Laboratories.
January 6, 1956. "What Happens When A Star Is Born." Dr.
Malcolm Savedoff, of the University of Rochester.
February 16, 1956. "Hazards of Radiation To Our Hereditary Material."
Dr. August H. Doerman, of the University of Rochester.
March 9, 1956. "The Structure of Nuclear Emulsions and Their Application
In Physics and Medical Research." Dr. John Spence, of Kodak Emulsion
April 9, 1956. "Some Biological Aspects of Radiocarbon Dating."
Dr. E. S. Deevey, of Yale's Osborn Zoological Laboratory.
The 1956-57 Council continued the central theme idea and chose as their
general subject "The International Geophysical Year" (ICY).
We list those programs, too. One of them carried over into 1958.
January 17, 1957. "Aurora Research In The IGY." Dr. C. W.
Gartlein, of Corneli's Physics Department.
March 14, 1957. "Migration of Birds." Dr. William Muchmore,
of the University of Rochester. (Much study was being done on how birds
April 12, 1957. "Antarctica--Studies To Be Carried On in the IGY."
Dr. Earl T. Apfel, of the Syracuse University Geology Department.
May 3, 1957. "Observing The Earth Satellites." Dr. Armand
N. Spitz, of the Spitz Laboratories in Yorklyn, Delaware.
March 28, 1958. "Oceanography In The IGY." Mr. Jan Hahn,
of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.
THE ANNUAL PICNIC IS BORN
There is a letter in the Archives dated March 23, 1956, that might
well be labeled the gleam-in-the-eye that brought into being the first
Annual Academy Picnic. It was from Paul Stevens to President Reginald
Hartwell and it suggested the idea in such glowing terms that it was
discussed and approved at subsequent Council meetings. So, on the first
Saturday in September 1956, more than 60 Academy members and their families
came to the Burroughs-Audubon Nature Club Sanctuary to celebrate the
first Annual Academy Picnic. The Botany Section conducted flower walks.
The Ornithology Section led bird walks. The Mineral Section had specimens
on display. The Astronomy Section set up an imposing array of telescopes
that came into popular use after dark for observing the stars in a clear
sky that the Weather Science Section undoubtedly claimed credit for.
During the ensuing 23 years the Picnic has became a tradition that hardly
ever has had to be omitted.
Numbers 1 and 2 of Volume 10 of the Proceedings were combined into
one issue that appeared in December 1953. For the first time in its
more than 60 years of publication the Proceedings listed an Editor at
the head of its Publications Committee. He was H. Lou Gibson and for
the next 20 years the Proceedings was to have the benefit of his painstaking
attention to detail and his able editorship. In that issue were several
articles by Academy members. "The
Cyperacease (Sedges) of Monroe and Adjacent Counties" was by Warren
A. Matthews and Douglas M. White. It is a work that still is consulted
by investigators of that group of plants and it represents another important
addition to the knowledge of area natural history that has been recorded
in the pages of the Proceedings. "Plantae Dubrovivensis" by
Bernard Harkness describes a rare tree closely related to the Mountain
Ash that grew on Argyle Street. "Notes on Astronomical Photography,"
by Paul W. Davis, featured photographs of planets and the moon, an eclipse,
an aurora, and a nebula, made with comparatively simple equipment available
to any amateur astronomer.
Another article in that first issue of Volume 10 became briefly notorious
when it got read into the U.S ' Congressional Record. "Two Studies
Concerning The Level Of The Great Lakes" by Melissa E. Bingeman
appeared shortly after Lake Ontario levels had reached an all-time high
of 249.4 feet above sea level in 1952 after several years of steady
increase. Those were years before there was an International Joint Commission
or a St. Lawrence Seaway, but property damage on the Lake' s south shore
gave rise to a great outcry that something be done about it. Miss Bingeman
served on the Academy Council from 1937 to 1945 and she was the mainstay
of the Weather Science Section for all of its
existence. For many years she was on the staff of the Rochester Chamber
Miss Bingeman was the owner of some 600 feet of lakeshore property
just east of Pultneyville which she called Wonderwood. Over the years
she had watched the progressive destruction of her property, including
a 100-year-old red maple that once had stood 70 feet back from the water's
edge. Rather than merely join the outcry, Miss Bingeman chose to do
something constructive and the result was those two scientifically excellent
studies that should be required reading today for all concerned with
lakeshore damage. The first study considers the relationship between
lake levels and precipitation. The second analyzes the relationship
between lake levels, winds and shore damage. Kenneth Keating, who then
was our Congressman, was so impressed with its value that he had it
read into the Congressional Record.
SCIENCE IN THE SCHOOLS
At the Annual Meeting on January 21, 1954, a new twist was given to
the general format begun in 1951. Instead of section members speaking
about their activities, high school students gave talks on Astronomy,
Weather Science, Minerals and ornithology. The affair was organized
by Paul Stevens in cooperation with Clarence W. Evaul, consultant in
science for the curriculum department of the Rochester Board of Education.
It was a reflection of a concern among various Rochester scientific
organizations for cooperating with the
schools in fostering science education. Later in the spring of that
year those groups, including the Rochester Engineering Society, the
American Chemical Society, the Optical Society of America, the Rochester
Academy of Science and others organized themselves into a Rochester
Council of Scientific Societies (RCSS) with the purpose of aiding students
in their understanding of science and encouraging them to undertake
science projects of their own. By 1959, the RCSS listed a roster of
some 200 consultants available to students for advice and help with
nearly any scientific project. The Academy still supports and participates
in the Council's activities. A speakers' bureau is maintained and the
valuable advice and assistance of many highly qualified scientists continues
to be available today for the encouragement of students in scientific
In April 1955, and for several ensuing years, the Academy joined other
RCSS groups in furnishing judges and otherwise assisting at the annual
Science Congress held at what was then the New York State Teachers College
in Brockport. Those events were sponsored by the New York State Science
Teachers Association. All those activities were forerunners to the time
in 1958 when science education grants from the American Association
for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) became available to the Academy.
AAAS SCIENCE RESEARCH GRANTS
January 1958, saw the beginning of the Academy affiliation with the
AAAS, which continues today. Accompanying the welcoming letter was the
notification that the Academy would be eligible to receive $50 annually
from the AAAS, to be used for local research grants. The grants would
be given to students, preferably in high school, chosen by the Academy.
No grants were awarded in 1958 so the $50 carried forward into 1959,
when the AAAS raised the annual award to $100.
Finding itself with $150 to give away, the Academy set about doing it.
The job of administering the grants fell ' to a committee consisting
of Miss Grace Murray, Mr. Gerald Rising and Mr. Bernard Harkness. City
high school science teachers were contacted and asked for recommendations.
When the returns were tallied, it was decided to award grants to 13
students in Monroe and McQuaid High Schools in amount ranging from $5
to $15. Among them two telescope builders received $10 each and two
students building cloud chambers received $5 each.
Of those initial 13 grantees, nine were boys and four were girls. one
of them received $10
towards his mechanical robot project. His original design required so
many small motors that the cost was prohibitive, so he settled for making
a well designed hand and forearm. The project really
worked, much to the amazement and amusement of visitors to the Brockport
Science Congress that year.
The Academy continued to receive $100 annually from the AAAS and to
give out grants. All Monroe County high schools were invited to submit
applicants, beginning in 1960. Projects became more complicated. For
example, "Testing Plant Growth Responses to Audible Frequency Changes
from a Radio Oscillator" was awarded $5 in 1960. Most students
receiving grants submitted brief reports to the Academy president. Larger
grants also appeared: $20 in 1962; $65 in 1964; and a grant for $85
in 1965 to a student in Rush-Henrietta High School for "Breeding
of Mystery Fishes." A selection process did occur, however; the
files contain applications which did not receive grants. In the early
1960's Miss Grace Murray became Science Awards Chairman, a job she still
does today. Her many years as a science teacher at Monroe High School
and later at Monroe Community College have given her a special insight
into the value of this program. She feels that the stimulating effects
of these awards on students to become involved in science research made
them eminently worthwhile, especially during the 1960's. Grantees exhibited
at various science congresses; some won awards in national contests;
and at least two received top awards in the Westinghouse Talent Search.
Several have became doctors and others have chosen career in other science
Toward the end of the 1960's there occurred a decline in the number
of high school students applying for AAAS grants. Reasons for it are
not altogether clear but probably among them are the unfortunate developments
in those years that made it necessary for school buildings to be strictly
closed at the end of each school day, to the considerable curtailment
of some after-school projects. As a result, in 1970 the focus of the
grants shifted to college students. A student of Dr. Melvin Wentland
at St. John Fisher College received $100 to study pollution in Irondequoit
Bay. Council minutes indicate that in 1971 $200 was donated to the Museum
to be used for grants by its Educational Division. Another St. John
Fisher student, Bruce Gilman, received $100 in 1972 to study the Thousand
Acre Swamp. He returned the favor to the Academy in 1979, when as a
faculty member at Community College of the Finger Lakes, he served as
Chairman of the Sixth Annual Fall Scientific Papers session.
The grant program was funded by AAAS through 1978. After that year,
an AAAS ruling that grants must go to high school students took effect.
The Academy council discussed changing the program to conform to that
ruling and they decided against it. They further decided to fund the
grants from existing income or from the Fairchild Fund, if necessary.
Self-funding was followed in 1978 and 1979 when $544 was distributed
to 15 college students in 11 separate
grants. From the beginning of the program in 1959, approximately $2700
has been awarded to a total of 97 individuals.
If the 1960's could be characterized by any one thing, they might be
thought of as the Years of the Museum. During the 1950's and 1960's
a whole Academy generation grew up to think of the Rochester Museum
as home. Problems were mainly those of scheduling. Academy Public Lectures,
section meetings and meetings of other Hobby Council groups, added to
regular Museum meetings, made for a very tight schedule. There were
times when, for example, the regular Wednesday night Museum meetings
conflicted with Ornithology Section (GOS) meetings and members had to
choose which one to attend when they might have preferred to attend
both. Sometimes such difficulties were solved by joint meetings. One
such occasion occurred on November 8, 1961, when the Academy and the
Rochester Museum Association together sponsored a lecture by Dr. Roman
Vishniac, who was a pioneer in the development of cine-photomicrography.
By means of time-lapse photography, Dr. Vishniac was able to show his
audiences movies of living cells actually dividing, which he did that
evening to the great delight of those present. No one could know then
that just 10 years later, in 1971, his son, Dr. Wolf Vishniac, would
be made an honorary member of the Academy for his work at the University
of Rochester in developing the famous Wolf Trap, designed to bring back
from the planets any signs of life, or that still later he would lose
his life in Antarctica, looking for signs of life in another inhospitable
In 1963 long range plans for a new Museum building were unveiled and
Academy sections were invited to submit plans for rooms and quarters
they would like to have for their use. Some did so. The only plans to
bear permanent fruit, however, were those of the Astronomy Section,
whose cooperative arrangements with the Planetarium are detailed elsewhere
in this chronicle. In 1964, in the Museum exhibit room on the second
floor, the Academy set up a series of exhibits illustrating the work
of each section. The display stayed on view all during January and February
of that year and drew much favorable comment.
SOME GENERAL MEETINGS
Although changes in the by-laws had reduced the required number of
general meetings from eight to four, the Academy during the 1960's held
five each year, with the
annual business meeting generally in January or February and the induction
of new Fellows in April or May. we list a few of those meetings, taken
at random. on March 30, 1962, in a lecture sponsored by the Mineral
Section, Professor John Wells of Cornell's Geology Department spoke
on "The Great Barrier Reef of Australia." Dr. W.W.H. Gunn,
of the Federation of Ontario Naturalists and an early pioneer in bird
song recording, brought his records to us on March 23, 1963, and an
audience of about 200 came to hear them. The event was sponsored by
the Ornithology Section and the BurroughsAudubon Nature Club (BANC).
Another joint meeting with the BANC was on April 10, 1964, when Albert
W. Bussewitz spoke on "The Story of Stony Brook Nature Center,"
of which he was the curator. Mr. Bussewitz was a former active Academy
and BANC member who had left Rochester some years earlier to assume
that curatorial post with the Massachusetts Audubon Society.
On February 26, 1965, there occurred another jointly sponsored meeting
when Dr. Richard H. Pough, author of the famed Audubon Field Guide,
spoke on "Preserving Nature's Treasures." That meeting was
sponsored jointly by the Academy, the Bergen Swamp Preservation Society,
the BANC, and the Federated Garden Clubs New York Seventh District.
Dr. Pough was a dedicated conservationist, and the records indicate
that about 100 came to hear him in spite of the bad weather that evening.
Probably it is just as well that those involved with the meeting of
May 5, 1968, were unable to see 11 and 12 years into the future. On
that evening Dr. V. Ben Meen, curator of gems and minerals at the Royal
Ontario Museum in Toronto, gave a beautifully illustrated lecture on
"The Crown Jewels of Iran." On April 15, 1969, at another
joint meeting, the lecture was given by Dr. Arthur W. Galston, Professor
of Biology at Yale, on "Pesticides and Herbicides In Our Environment."
The Botany Section and the BANC were the sponsors.
MEMBERSHIP AND DUES
At a Council meeting held in August 1961, it was decided to raise Academy
dues to $5.00 for individual members, $6.00 for families and $2.00 for
students. Total membership for 1960 was 460. By 1963 it had risen to
536. In 1968 the total stood at 516 and as of December 31, 1969, the
end of the decade, there were 529 members.
Shortly before the 1960's considerable thought was given to a change
in the format of the Academy Bulletin. All through the 1950's it had
been printed free of charge through the generosity of Commercial Controls
Corporation, on 81-2 x 11 sheets, one or two sheets per issue. In February
1959, the new Bulletin, Volume 13, No. 5, appeared in
much the same general style that we now know it. Don Ray, the printer
who first produced it, still is its printer. Mrs. Helen Dakin was the
editor who worked out the idea of short articles contributed by each
section. She continued that service, not the least problem of which
was getting the material turned in on time, until 1963, when Mrs. Florence
Ulgiati took over the responsibility. She continued until July 1966,
when Mrs. Trudie Brown replaced her. Mrs. Brown's able editorship lasted
into the mid-1970's. Mrs. Katherine Jensen, who quietly had done all
the editing and mailing during the 1950's continued to be responsible
for the mailing. All through the minutes of the 1960's there appears
an occasional note to the effect that an addressograph is badly needed.
Finally, in the minutes of October 5, 1970, we find the notation that
the offer of Mr. and Mrs. David Jensen to buy an addressograph for the
Academy was accepted with thanks.
The 1960's saw the publication of several significant issues of the
Proceedings. Volume 10, No. 6, which appeared in 1962, consisted of
a single paper, "A List of the Aphids of New York" by Dr.
Martin D. Leonard. The paper, 140 pages long, included many plates and
required much editorial work by editor H. Lou Gibson. Through the efforts
of President George Keene, the Shell Oil Company was persuaded to contribute
a large share of the cost of printing that issue. The last issue of
Volume 11, appearing in 1968, contained "A Supplement to the Aphids
of New York" by the same author. An interesting footnote to that
paper reveals that editor Gibson collected 350 specimens of aphids of
70 different species in his own garden as a contribution to that list.
One of them proved to be new to New York State and another was a completely
Another significant paper to appear in Volume 11 was "An Ecological
Survey of the Vegetation of Monroe County" by Royal E. Shanks.
Originally intended as a bulletin of the New York State Museum, the
manuscript had lain unpublished in Albany for more than 20 years. Complicated
negotiations for a number of years were required for it to be released
to the Proceedings. The survey covered woodlots remaining in Monroe
County in the 1930's and early 1940's and from those data Dr. Shanks
reconstructed the probable distribution of plant life in the region
before the white man came.
Three other papers in Volume 11 were by Academy members. "Notes
on Bird Photography" was by H. Lou Gibson, and "The Christmas
Bird Census In Rochester" was by Richard T. O'Hara. Dr. Robert
G. Sutton of the University of Rochester Geology Department was the
senior author with N. A. Rukvana and E. L. Towle of "Changes in
the Level of Lake Ontario-Inferred from Offshore Sediments at Braddock
At the Council meeting of December 3, 1962, a suggestion was made that
the Academy publish a series of booklets describing our local natural
history with the purpose of acquainting the uninitiated with what is
to be found in Rochester and the Genesee Country and where to find it
and how to enjoy it. The idea took root and grew into the series of
three "Getting Acquainted" booklets that the Academy published
in 1965, 1966 and 1968. Getting Acquainted with Mendon Ponds Park appeared
in 1965. A booklet of 56 pages, it has a chapter on the geology of the
area, followed by chapters on wildflowers through the seasons, a trip
through Kennedy Bog and an account of the park's aquatic vegetation.
Getting Acquainted with Birds in Genesee Country appeared in 1966. Its
73 pages have chapters describing in detail 11 popular birding spots
in the area, and an additional chapter with shorter accounts of 11 more.
In 1968 the Mineral Section's booklet, Getting Acquainted with the Geological
Story of the Rochester and Genesee Valley Areas, was published. It has
sections on the rocks, the glacial geology, the rivers and lakes, the
fossils and the minerals to be found in this local area. All three booklets
are still available at $1.00 each. All three are concisely written and
well illustrated with photographs and line drawings and maps. All three
are entirely the work of the Botany, Ornithology and Mineral Sections.
The Mendon Ponds booklet was revised and updated in 1974.
At the Council meeting on January 29, 1968, it was learned that legal
adviser Henry Byers had received a postcard from a member living in
the deep south that referred to the dissolution of the Rochester Academy
of Science in 1952. Mr. Byers, on checking with the City Clerk's office,
was advised that there is nothing to indicate that the Academy is not
listed as a corporation. Subsequent checks in March and October received
the same assurance. The Council minutes of May 12, 1969, however, reveal
that it was learned that in 1948 the New York State Legislature sent
notices to all corporations in the state requesting them to file a certificate
of existence, along with a $5 fee. Notice to the Rochester Academy of
Science went to the three people who signed the original papers in 1881
and who, by the very nature of things, had long since departed, leaving
no forwarding address. In 1952 the legislature published a list of those
not filing a certificate of existence and by proclamation of the Secretary
of State those corporations were formally dissolved. The Rochester Academy
of Science was not alone on that list, which also included the Rochester
Bar Association. Academy President Neil Moon, therefore,
had to take immediate steps to get the Academy back into business as
a corporation. That he did so successfully is attested to by a certificate
signed by Secretary of State, John P. Lomenzo, which states that "such
dissolution proceedings were annulled and the existence of the corporation
revived, reinstated and continued.... 11 Thus it was heartening to know,
as the Academy was on the eve of entering its 10th decade, that even
though legally it had been out of existence for 17 years and didn't
know it, it still was in business and that dissolution had no place
whatever in its future.
THE TENTH DECADE
ACADEMY PUBLIC LECTURES
Having recounted happenings through the years back to 1881, things
that occurred in the 1970's seem recent enough to be called current
events. Many who read this account of 1970 events will be the ones that
made them happen. Time and space (especially time) will not allow more
than highlights of those years and credit may not be given where much
credit is due.
The first half of the decade continued essentially the same routine
as in the 1960's, with at least
four and generally five public lectures each year, sponsored by each
of the sections in turn. Let us list a few. Many will remember them.
One which occurred on April 18, 1970, was not strictly an Academy affair
but the Academy sponsored it, along with the Rochester Chamber of Commerce,
the Junior League, the Rochester Garden Club, the Landmark Society and
the Rochester Committee for Scientific Information. It was billed as
"Now, Not Tomorrow--A Conference on Environment in Monroe County,"
and it was held at Nazareth College. The featured keynote speaker was
Dr. LaMont Cole, Professor of Ecology at Cornell University. He was
followed by Dr. Paul Morrow who spoke on "Air"; Dr. George
Berg who spoke on "Water" and by Dr. Stuart Denslow, on "Land",
after which the meeting broke up into three discussion groups. Surely
that was a meeting that marked the beginning of serious action on the
mounting problems of pollution and energy and environmental health that
are part of today's way of life.
"The Effects of Air Pollution on Plants and Animals in Urban and
Suburban Communities" was the title of the January 12, 1971, lecture
sponsored by the Botany Section, which was held at St. John Fisher College.
The speaker was Dr. Michael Schaedle, Professor of Forest Botany at
Syracuse. April 2, 1971, was the date of an annual Fellows Night when
Dr. Wolf Vishniac was awarded an Honorary Membership in the Academy.
Dr. Vishniac's lecture was entitled "Exobiology and the
Certificate not scanned.
FIGURE 2. Certificate of Annulment of Dissolution of the Academy and
Reinstatement of its Corporate Charter by John P. Lomenzo, Secretary
of State, June 4, 1969.
unity of Cosmology and Biology." It was less that two years later,
on December 14, 1973, that he met his tragic death in Antarctica. April
18, 1972 was the date of a Fairchild Memorial Lecture, and it also was
a Fellows Night. Dr. Cornelius Hurlbut of Harvard was the speaker. His
subject was "Travels of a Mineralogist from New Zealand to East
Africa," and he was awarded an Honorary Membership that evening.
Dr. Anthony Aveni, of Colgate University, delivered the Academy Public
Lecture on May 5, 1973, which was sponsored by the Astronomy Section.
His topic was "Mayan and Aztec Astro-Calendars.11
The April 28, 1974, lecture was held in Cutler Union on the Prince Street
Campus. It was sponsored jointly by the Ornithology Section (GOS) and
the Burroughs-Audubon Nature Club. Speaker was Dr. Maurice Broun, famed
former curator of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. The title of his lecture
was "Ecological Ecstasy." Dr. Broun's death in late 1979 saddened
the many GOS members who had known him for many years. He had been an
Honorary Member of the Academy since 1961. Another Fairchild Memorial
Lecture took place on April 17, 1975. This one was held in connection
with the Mineral Section's Second Annual Mineral Symposium, a four-day
affair with headquarters at the Holiday Inn Downtown. The Fairchild
lecturer was Dr. Vincent Manson, whose subject was "The Gems of
the American Museum of Natural History." That evening also was
an annual Fellows Night and Honorary Memberships were conferred on Dr.
Manson and Dr. Paul E. DeSautels, Supervisor of Minerals at the Smithsonian
MEETING ROOM PROBLEMS
In January of 1976 came word from the Rochester Museum and Science
Center that the basement craft rooms no longer would be available for
Academy section meetings because the space was urgently needed for the
preparation of Museum exhibits. Rates, too, had to be increased in keeping
with rising costs of everything else, all of which caused many problems
of adjustment to new meeting locations and of budgeting to meet increased
costs. The Museum was most cooperative in arranging for other space
in the School of Science and man and the multi-purpose room in the Strasenburgh
Planetarium. Then in late 1976 came the massive cut by the county legislature
of about one-third of the Museum's financial support which resulted
in the necessity, for reasons of economy, to close Bausch Hall to all
evening meetings. That ruled out use of the Small Auditorium for Academy
Public Lectures and for certain section meetings. During those years
a special committee, headed by William Coons, investigated possible
alternative sites, as did the several sections, a search which still
is not altogether completed. At this writing the Botany-Entomology Section
meets in the Lavery Library at St. John Fisher College, the
Mineral Section at Asbury First Methodist Church, the Ornithology Section
(GOS) at the University of Rochester Eastman Dental Center and the Microscopy
Section in members homes. The Astronomy Section continues its cooperative
arrangement with the Strasenburgh Planetarium.
The Academy, not altogether for reasons of meeting room problems, has
reduced the requisite number of Public Lectures from four to two, plus
the required annual business meeting. As we all know, public lectures
lately have been held in such various places as the First Federal Statesmens'
Club, the Holiday Inn Downtown, the Inn On The Campus, St. John Fisher
College, the University of Rochester and others. It is to be regretted
that nearly 30 years of having a home base at the Museum could not continue.
It also is a matter of some satisfaction that developments have occurred
to compensate and that the Academy's role as a force in the scientific
life of the community is in no way diminished.
In 1974 and 1975 the problem of some section members not being members
of the Academy became a matter that had to be dealt with. It was not
altogether a new problem. It had occurred back in 1895 when the Engineering
Section seceded from the Academy to become the Rochester Engineering
Society. This time, however, it gradually came to light that a very
considerable number of Ornithology Section (GOS) members had never joined
the Academy, sometimes because they never had been asked. The process
of correcting the situation was a long and torturous one that lasted
for more than a year. There were proposals and counter-proposals for
establishing various types of associate relationships that would not
involve Academy dues. Opinions within the section were sharply divided
and there were arguments that resulted in hurt feelings on both sides.
The problem was resolved, however, and the Ornithology Section (GOS)
membership continues to outstrip by far that of any other section.
A NEW DUES COLLECTION SYSTEM
A direct result of settling the membership matter was the revision
of the method of collecting dues that resulted in the system in use
today. All section and all Academy dues are paid at one time to the
Academy treasurer, who passes on to each section its dues as received.
That involves a tremendous amount of detail work--so much so that
at one time it was difficult to find a person willing to take on the
treasurer's job. The late Arthur S. Hamilton, Jr. was the treasurer
who worked out the procedural details of the changeover. Now the Academy
treasurer, the section treasurers and the membership chairman have a
system of working together that minimizes the endless details.
Another result of settling the membership difficulty was that the constitution
and by-laws were re-examined and things were found that needed clarifying
and updating. A Constitution and By-Laws Committee, headed by Henry
Byers, was appointed. As a result of their nearly two years of research,
revised versions of those documents were adopted in 1979. Chief among
the five changes to the constitution was the replacement of the time-honored
Council with a Board of Directors whose make-up is essentially the same
except for the addition of the immediate past president. The change
of name is taking some getting used to, after nearly 100 years of a
Council and Councilors. The by-laws received 18 changes, details of
which are best learned by consulting that document.
Volume 12, No. 2, of the Proceedings appeared in 1971, the last of
a series under the full editorship of H. Lou Gibson. Number 3, which
appeared in 1974 was edited jointly by Mr. Gibson and Dr. Neil S. Moon.
Number 4, under the full editorship of Dr. Moon, was published in late
1975. It contains abstracts of the papers presented at the Academy's
First Annual Fall Session for Scientific Papers. Dr. Moon continued
as editor. Increasing printing costs posed problems and much investigation
was undertaken towards holding them within acceptable limits. As a result,
Volume 13, No. 1, appeared in October 1976, in a slightly smaller format.
The rest of Volume 13 (Nos. 2, 3, and 4 all in one issue), edited by
Dr. Lawrence King, and comprising abstracts of the papers of the Third
(1976), Fourth (1977), and Fifth (1978) Annual Scientific Papers Sessions
was issued in November 1980.
Mrs. Trudie Brown, after 9 years as editor of the Bulletin, was forced
to resign because of illness. Dr. Neil Moon edited the November 1974
issue and Mrs. Sarah Talpey took over from December 1974, through May
1975, when it became clear that Mrs. Brown could not resume. Mrs. Donna
Groth then assumed the responsibility and served as editor through January
1980; since then it has been in the capable hands of Ms. Karen Riggs.
THE MINERALOGICAL SYMPOSIUMS
A very important development in Academy affairs is the series of annual
Mineralogical Symposiums begun by the Mineral Section in 1974 when the
first one was held in Canandaigua. Details of these affairs are recounted
in the Mineral Section's history elsewhere in this issue. They generally
are four-day affairs held each spring in various inns or hotels in the
area. In recent years they have attracted upwards of 200 mineralogists,
both amateur and professional, who come from as many as 16 states as
well as Mexico and Canada and Europe. Internationally known mineral
dealers have specimens on display and for sale and the symposia cover
a variety of subjects of interest to both the novice and the more serious
mineral collector. On several occasions the Academy's annual Fellows
Night has been held in connection with one of these symposiums.
THE ANNUAL PAPERS SESSIONS
In 1973, when Dr. Lawrence King accepted the chairmanship of a long-range
planning committee, he suggested the possibility of an Academy-sponsored
annual session for reading scientific papers. The idea received such
enthusiastic approval that he soon found himself the co-chairman, with
Dr. Melvin Wentland, of a committee that developed the Academy's First
Annual Fall Session for Scientific Papers. It was hosted by the State
University College at Geneseo on October 26, 1974, and it was such an
outstanding success that it has been repeated every autumn since. There
were 32 papers presented by both faculty and students of neighboring
colleges and universities and by Academy members. The twelve schools
and colleges represented were Alfred University, SUC Brockport, Canaseraga
Central School, Eisenhower College, SUC Geneseo, Houghton College, St.
Bonaventure College, Monroe Community College, Rochester Institute of
Technology, St. John Fisher College, Syracuse University, and the University
of Rochester. Academy members who presented papers were H. Lou Gibson,
Dr. Lawrence King, Miss Grace Murray, William Pinch, Mrs. Mildred Stauffer,
Dr. Leo Tanghe and Dr. Melvin Wentland. Abstracts of the papers were
published in Volume 12, No. 4, of the Proceedings.
The enthusiastic reception given the first session insured that it would
become an annual event, as indeed it has. The second annual session
was held at SUC Brockport, the third at St.John Fisher College, the
fourth at Monroe Community College and the fifth at SUC Geneseo again.
Abstracts of all the papers presented at those sessions appear in Volume
13 of the Proceedings. The sixth session
took place at Community College of the Finger Lakes on November 3, 1979,
and Nazareth College was host to the seventh session on November 8,
1980. Abstracts of those papers will appear in a forthcoming issue of
the Proceedings -
The enthusiastic support given these annual sessions marks them as
one of the most significant developments in recent Academy history,
for they continue to reveal and bring together more and more information
to add to the "thorough knowledge of the natural history of the
State of New York in the vicinity of Rochester." The quotation
marks enclose a phrase from the Academy's first constitution, adopted
A NATURAL HERITAGE WEEKEND
In the fall of 1977, the Academy was approached by the Rochester Museum
and Science Center about participating in a proposed Natural Heritage
Weekend at the Museum's Cumming Nature Center in late May 1978. Following
planning discussions with Ralph Campbell, Director of the RMSC's Cumming
Nature Center, arrangements were made for the Academy's participation
in the program during the Memorial Day weekend, May 27 and 28, 1978.
Display tables were set up in the grove of red pines adjacent to the
Center's reception building. Each Academy Section provided educational
material and specimen displays for tables and bulletin boards. Members
were on hand to explain Academy programs to the visitors. The Botany-Entomology
Section provided naturalist guides for visitors on walks along the Center's
nature trails during both days. On Saturday evening, Dr. James Wishart
from the Mineral Section delivered a lecture on the local geology of
the Bristol Hill country, and several members of the Astronomy Section
set up and manned telescopes to permit visitors to view planets and
stellar objects in the clear night sky. This attracted many enthusiastic
viewers who lingered long past the Center's customary closing hours
enjoying the brilliant skies far from urban polluting lights. Very early,
on Sunday morning, the ornithology Section provided expert guides to
identify and spot the bird life along the Center's trails. It was an
ideal weekend for such an activity coming at the height of spring migration.
other special exhibits were provided by conservation organizations at
the Cumming Nature Center during the weekend. Museum records indicated
that about 700 persons visited the Center for the Natural Heritage Weekend.
LOOKING BACKWARD AND FORWARD
by William F. Coons, President
As one reads the history of the Academy for its first 100 years, one
cannot avoid being impressed by the varied fortunes of the organization.
Under the leadership of 35 different presidents (two of whom presided
over more than a quarter century of its existence) the Academy membership
rose, fell and rose again. It is at present at its highest level. As
more events are held by both the parent Academy and its sections, more
people learn of the Academy programs and join its rolls. One of the
keys to continued existence and expansion of the Academy in its second
century is more exposure to the general public and more programs to
attract persons with a range of scientific interests.
Readers will note that in its early history, the Academy meetings were
the focus for its activities. As sections developed, frequency of Academy
meetings decreased as monthly section meetings took over much of that
role. Modern day officers have faced the question of the need for continuance
of the Academy when the sections, with their own dues and officers,
could possibly operate as separate clubs. The answer to this question
is another key to the future of the Academy. The section structure is
common to most of the other academies in the United States. The Academy
provides the corporate structure, and incidentally the tax exempt status.
The Rochester Academy programs which benefit all sections have been
well described in the history. They include the public lectures, the
scientific paper session, the student research grants, the Proceedings,
and provision for section meeting space. Future Boards of Directors
would do well to seek to expand those activities that are multisectional
and stress the Academy as a whole.
A surprising revelation of the History is that Academy dues, while
decreasing during the lean years in the '30's and 40's, have only risen
to their original level of a century ago. Since the cost of operating
has increased considerably over the century, one wonders what slight
of hand has permitted this fiscal bargain. The answer lies buried within
the pages of our History. Public meetings (and therefore honoraria)
have been reduced. Proceedings are published less frequently. It is
becoming more difficult to find people with time to perform the volunteer
duties required to operate the organization. The third key to the future
is a realistic fiscal policy that recognizes (a) the need for increased
activities that relate to the members and the public, and (b) that it
may become necessary to pay for more of these activities. This does
not imply that officers-would be paid, but rather the possibility of
such things as a computerized membership and mailing list, professional
typing of Proceedings manuscripts, and even a part-time executive secretary.
These are not far-fetched ideas for a growing organization of over 700
members and several active sections, and they are normally not free.
If the Academy is good for its members and the community, then they
should be the source of its fiscal support.
All of the thoughts in the preceding paragraphs will probably be considered
among the challenges of future Academy Boards of Directors. Academy
members and friends should take comfort in the fact that many challenges
have been met in the past, as has been so interestingly described by
our centennial historian Reginald Hartwell. Future Academy leaders will
hopefully be as well, or better equipped to deal with their challenges.
In 1981, we thank those that came before for their legacy, and wish
good fortune to those that will guide the second century.
Officers of the Rochester Academy of Science
President: The Rev. Myron Adams, 1881-82; H. F. Atwood, 1883-84; Adelbert
Cronise, 1885-86; The Rev. N. M. Mann, 1887; Sylvanus A. Ellis, 1888.
Secretary: H. C. Maine, 1881-83; J. Edward Line, 1884,
H. H. Turner, 1885-86, H. T. Braman, 1887-88.
Treasurer: Charles E. Rider, 1881; Porter Farley, 1882-83, J. E. Whitney,
E. Ocumpaugh, Jr., 1887-88.
President Herman Leroy Fairchild, 1889-1901.
lst Vice-President: J. Edward Line, 1889; S. A. Ellis, 1890; Albert
L. Arey, 1891-92; J. M. Davison, 1893-98; George W. Goler, 1899-1901.
2nd Vice President: Abram S. Mann, 1889-90; J. E. Whitney, 1891, 1895-97;
J. E. Line, 1892; M. L. Mallory, 189394; George W. Goler, 1898; C. W.
Dodge, 1899-1900; Shelley G. Crump, 1901.
Secretary: A. L. Arey, 1889-90; Frank C. Baker, 1891-92;
A. L. Baker, 1893-97; Montgomery E. Leary, 1898-1901.
Corresponding Sec. : S. A. Ellis, 1889; George W. Rafter, 1890-91;
C. W. Dodge, 1892-1901.
Treasurer: E. Ocumpaugh, Jr. 1889; E. E. Howell, 1890-91;
J. E. Whitney, 1891-93; F. W. Warner, 1894-97; J. E. Putnam, 1898-1901.
Councillors: (term 3 years from date of election)
Edward Bausch, 1889; S. A. Lattimore, 1889, Florence Beckwith, 1889,
J. E. Whitney, 1889, 1894; M. L. Mallory, 1889; William Streeter, 1889,
1892; J. M. Davison,
1890, 1899; C. F. Paine, 1890; J. L. Roseboom, 1891, 1894, 1897; H.
L. Preston, 1891, 1893;
Henry A. Ward, 1892; F. W. Warner, 1893; Mary E. Macauley, 1894;
J. Y. McClintock, 1894, 1896; C. C. Laney, 1895; George W. Goler, 1895;
Adelbert Cronise, 1896; Eveline P. Ballentine, 1897, 1900; Edwin A.
H. E. Lawrence, 1898; Emil Kuichling, 1899; C. F. Howard, 1900; Charles
R. Sumner, 1901.
President: Charles Wright Dodge, 1902-1903; Charles R. Sumner, 1902-05;
Charles T. Howard, 1906-10; Victor J. Chambers, 1912-14; Florus R. Baxter,
1915-17; George H. Chadwick, 1918; H. L. Fairchild, 1918; George L.
First Vice-President: Charles R. Sumner, 1902-03; Charles T. Howard,
1904-05; H. L. Fairchild, 1906; Elon H. Eaton, 1907; Richard M. Moore,
1907; Milton S. Baxter, 1909; Florus R. Baxter, 1910-14; Victor J. Chambers,
1915-16; Ivan C. Jaggar, 1917-18; Florus R. Baxter, 1919.
Second Vice-President: George W. Goler, 1902; Charles T. Howard, 1903;
C. W. Dodge, 1904; H. L. Fairchild, 1905; Milton S. Baxter, 1906, 1908;
Richard M. Moore, 1907; Franklin Hanford, 1909; William Streeter, 1910-1911;
Frank A. Stecher, 1912; Lucius L. Button, 1913-16;
V. J. Chamgers, 1917-18; J. L. Roseboom, 1919.
Secretary: Montgomery E. Leary, 1902-03; George H. Chadwick, 1904-05,
1915-17; Harry A. Carpenter, 1906-07; Milton B. Bunnet, 1908-09; Gilbert
S. Dey, 1910-11, Charles W. Hennington, 1912; Harrison E. Howe, 1913-14;
Cogswell Bentley, 1918; Harold L. Alling, 1919.
Corresponding Secretary: William D. Merrell, 1902-19.
Treasurer: Joseph E. Putnam, 1902-04; Kenneth S. Howard, 1905; Rudolph
Schmitt, 1905-15; George Wendt, 1916-19.
Librarian: William D. Merrell, 1902-04; Herman K. Phinney, 1905-16;
Alice H. Brown, 1917-19.
Councillors: Eveline P. Ballintine, 1902-08; Charles T. Howard, 1902,
1913-15; Florence E. Beckwith, 1902-19; H. L. Fairchild, 1902-04; 1907-19;
John M. Davisen, 1902-05; George H. Chadwick, 1902-03, 1906; E. H. Eaton,
1902-05; Charles W. Dodge, 1905-17; Charles R. Sumner, 1906-12; Milton
S. Baxter, 1908-19; Mrs. J. H. McGuire, 1908-10; Herbert W. Hoyt, 1909-11;
J. Merton Taylor, 1912-14; George Wendt, 1914-16; Ellsworth P.Killip,
1916-18; Ivan C. Jaggar, 1916; George L. English, 1917-18; Charles C.
Avery A. Ashdown, 1919; Warren A. Matthews, 1919.
President: George L. English, 1920-21; F.W.C. Meyer, 192225; Cogswell
Bentley, 1926-27; William H. Boardman, 1928-29.
First Vice-President: Florus Baxter, 1920; J. L. Roseboom, 1921, John
R. Murlin, 1922-24; H. H. Covell, 1925-27; L. E. Jewell, 1928-29.
Second Vice-President: J. L. Roseboom, 1920, John R. Murlin, 1921;
H. H. Covell, 1922-24; A. C. Hawkins, 1925-26; Arthur C. Parker, 1927;
Charles Messerschmitt, 1928-29.
Secretary: Milroy N. Stewart, 1920-29.
Treasurer: George Wendt, 1920-29.
Librarian: Alice H. Brown, 1920-29
Corresponding Secretary: WilliamD. Merrell, 1920-21
Councillors: Florence E. Beckwith, 1920-29; Herman L.
Fairchild, 1920-29; Warren A. Matthews, 1920-27;
Charles C. Zoller, 1920-22; John R. Murlin, 1920;
Florus Baxter, 1921-25; William H. Boardman, 1923-27;
A.C. Hawkins, 1923-25; F.W.C. Meyer, 1926-29; William
D. Merrell, 1926-28; Arthur C. Parker, 1928-29; William
L. G. Edson, 1928-29; George L. English, 1929.
President: Floyd C. Fairbanks, 1930-45; Sherman C. Bishop, 1946-47;
Robert L. Roudabush, 1948-49.
First Vice-President: A. J. Ramaker, 1930-35; Dean L. Gamble, 1930-44;
Sherman C. Bishop, 1945; Gordon M. Meade, 1946; Robert L. Roudabush,
1947; David E. Jensen, 194849.
2nd Vice-President: Charles Messerschmitt, 1930-35, 1937;
Dean L. Gamble, 1936. -
Secretary: Milroy N. Stewart, 1930-48; Dr. John Russell, 1949.
Corresponding Secretary: Katherine Jensen, 1945-49.
Treasurer: George Wendt, 1930-44; William S. Cornwell, 11945-49.
Assistant Treasurer: William S. Cornwell, 1942-44.
Librarian: Alice H. Brown, 1930; Donald B. Gilchrist, 1931-39; John
R. Russell, 1941-49.
Councillors: William D. Merrell, 1930-39; Arthur C. Parker, 1930-36,
1943-45; Herman L. Fairchild, 1930-38; George L. English, 1930-31, 1935-37;
F.W.C. Meyer, 1930-41, 1944; William L. G. Edson, 1930-44; Melissa E.
Bingeman, 1937-45; David E. Jensen, 1938-40, 1947; Richard L. Post,
1939; William S. Cornwell, 1940-42; Edwin G. Foster, 1940-41, 1945-47,
1949; Sherman C. Bishop, 1941-44, 1948-49; Gordon M. Meade, 1942-44;
Dean L. Gamble, 1945-46; Robert L. Roudabush, 1945-46; Paul Davis, 1947;
Mrs. H. L. Alling, 1947-49; Clarence W. Carroll, 1947-49; Walter A.
Swan, 1947-49; Robert E. Stauffer, 1949; Fred Hall, 1949; Paul W. Stevens,
1949; H. Lou Gibson, 1949.
President: Robert J. Bloor, 1950-52; Robert E. Stauffer, 1952-53; Babette
I. Brown, 1953-54; Edward T. Boardman, 1954-55; Reginald W. Hartwell,
1955-56; Henry C. Staehle, 1956-58; Joel T. Johnson, 1958-61.
Vice-President: David E. Jensen, 1950-51; Paul W. Stevens, 1951-52,
1953-54; Leo J. Houlihan, 1952-53; Reginald W. Hartwell, 1954-55; Henry
C. Staehle, 1955-56; Bernard Harkness, 1956-59; George Keene, 1959-61.
Secretary: Dr. John Russell, 1950-52; Mrs. Edward T. Boardman, 1952-53;
Helen M. Foster, 1953-54; Dr. Ethel French, 1954-55 (Dr. Babette Brown
served as acting secretary for that entire term); Grace L. Murray, 1955-57;
Reginald W. Hartwell, 1957-62.
Corresponding Secretary: Katherine Jensen, 1950-60 et seq.
Treasurer: Robert E. Stauffer, 1950-52; Ralph K. Dakin, 1952-60 et
*Following the adoption of the 1946 revised constitution and by-laws,
officer- elected in January served from the following June to June of
the next year. Therefore, in this and subsequent lists, 1952-53 for
example, indicates that the officer served only one year. Previously,
officers served from January to January and 1946-47, for example, indicated
the officer served two years.
**Councilors: Sherman C. Bishop, 1950; Walter A. Swan, 1950; H. Lou
Gibson, 1951, 1955; Paul W. Stevens, 1951; Robert J. Bloor, 1952; Edward
T. Boardman, 1952, 1955; Babette I. Brown, 1953, 1957, 1960; Robert
L. Roudabush, 1953, 1959; Reginald W. Hartwell, 1954; William B. Muchmore,
1954; Henry C. Staehle, 1955; William F. Jenks, 1955, 1957; Bernard
Harkness, 1956; Robert E. Stauffer, 1956; Milton R. Goff, 1958; Joel
T. Johnson, 1958; Alfred Stellar, 1959; Allen E. Kemnitzer, 1959; Robert
H. Roudabush, 1959; David E. Jensen, 1960.
President: Joel T. Johnson, 1958-61; George T. Keene, 196163; Ralph
K. Dakin, 1963-65; Stephen C. Weber, 1965-67; Dr. Neil S. Moon, 1967-69;
Dr. Clarence Gehris, 196971.
Vice-President: George T. Keene, 1959-61; Bernard Harkness, 1961-62;
Clair F. Smith, 1962-63; Stephan C. Weber, 1963-65; Udell B. Stone,
1965-67; Kenneth J. Brown, 1967-68; Clarence W. Gehris, 1968-69; Frank
Recording Secretary : Reginald W. Hartwell, 1957-62; Barbara Sprenkle,
1962-66; Dorothy Lind, 1966-75.
Corresponding Secretary: Katherine Jensen, 1945-76.
Treasurer: Ralph K. Dakin, 1952-63, 1967-70; John Foster, 1963-67.
Councilors: Dr. Babette Coleman, 1960; David K. Bulloch, 1961; Robert
G. Sutton, 1961; Gerald Rising, 1961; Donald Yeager, 1962; Vera Boardman,
1962; Allan S. Klonick, 1963; Robert C. McGillicuddy, 1963; Stephen
C. Weber, 1964; Fred C. Amos, 1964; Udell B. Stone, 1965; Louise M.
Zeitler, 1965; William H. Fitzgerald, 1966; Thomas Tetlow, 1966; William
Pinch, 1967; Mildred Stauffer, 1967; Richard Karlson, 1968; Albert C.
Smith, Jr., 1968; Clarence W. Gehris, 1969; Joel T. Johnson, 1969; Sarah
Talpey, 1969; Charles F. Wray, 1970.
President: Clarence Gehris, 1969-1971; Frank A. Myers, 1971-1973; Mary
Ann Sunderlin, 1973-1975; Elizabeth Pixley, 1975-1978; William F. Coons,
Vice-President: Frank A. Myers, 1969-1971; Mary Ann Sunderlin, 1971-1973;
Elizabeth Pixley, 1973-1975;
**Dates after Councilors' names indicate when their 3-year (or less)
Lawrence J. King, 1975-.977; William F. Coons, 19771978; William L.
Hollingsworth, 1978-1980; Marion Schneider, 1980-1981.
Recording Secretary: Dorothy Lind, 1966-1975; Isabelle Bacon, 1975-1976;
1976-1978; Barbara MacIntyre, 1978-1979; Evelyn Wishart, 1979-1981.
Corresponding Secretary: Katherine Jensen, 1945-1976; Barbara Walters,
Treasurer: Stephen C. Weber, 1970-1975; Arthur S. Hamilton, Jr., 1975-1977;
William C. Colsman, 1977-1979; John E. Jones, 1979-1980; Dr. Hugh Butler,
Associate Treasurer: Merlin Groff, 1976-1978.
Councillors (Directors, as of 1979): Gerhard Leubner, 1970; Charles
F. Wray, 1970; John Foster, 1971; Robert G. McKinney, 1971; Sarah Talpey,
1972; N. Joseph Klingensmith, 1972; Laura W. Moon, 1973; James Wishart,
1973, 1982; Kenneth J. Brown, 1974; Melvin Wentland, 1974, 1980; Edwin
S. Barnitz, 1975; Lawrence J. King, 1975; Robert D. Coffee, 1976; Jack
H. Smith, 1976; William L. Hollingsworth, 1977; Warren L. Lloyd, 1977;
Richard E. Albrecht, 1978; Gordon M. Meade, 1978; Archibald Reid, 1979;
Katherine Jensen, 1979; Florence Byers, 1980; Alfred E. Vragel, 1981,
John E. Jones, 1981; Robert Plass, 1981; William Colsman, 1982.
"Honorary members shall be such outstanding scientists as the
Academy, upon recommendation of the Board of Directors, may elect to
receive this honor. It shall not be conferred upon members of the Academy"
.... from Chapter I of the Academy by-laws. Below are listed those who
have been made Honorary Members of the Rochester Academy of Science
during the last 100 years.
From 1881 to 1891: Dr. G. Karl Gilbert, Washington, D.C.; Rev. John
D. King, Edgerton, Pa.; Professor Samuel A. Lattimore, Rochester, N.Y.;
Dr. E. M. Moore, Rochester, N.Y.; Professor Albert R. Leeds, Hoboken,
N.J.; Professor John S. Newberry, New York, N.Y.; Rev. Augustus H. Stron,
Rochester, N.Y.; Rev. Francis Wolfe, Rochester, N.Y.
1895: Charles D. Walcott, Washington, D.C.
1911: Professor Lester A. Ward, Washington, D.C.
From 1911 to 1919: Professor Charles P. Berkey, Columbia University;
Dr. John M. Clark,
New York State Museum, Albany, N.Y.; Professor Arthur P. Coleman, Toronto
University; Professor William Morris Davis, Harvard University; Rear
Admiral Franklin Hanford, Scottsville, N.Y.; Professor Heinrich Ries,
Cornell University; Dr. Charles Sprague Sargent, Arnold Arboretum, Mass.
; David White, U.S. Geological Survey, Washington, D.C.
1929: Dr. William H. Jordan, N.Y. State Agricultural Experiment Station,
1942: Dr. Liberty Hyde Bailey, Cornell University.
From 1942 to 1948: Dr. George H. Chadwick, Catskill, N.Y. Dr. Arthur
C. Parker, Naples, N.Y. ;
Mr. Karl P. Schmidt, Chicago, Ill.
From 1948 to 1955: Dr. W. C. Muenscher, Ithaca, N.Y.; Richard E. Horsey,
Rochester, N.Y.; George B. Cressy; W. F. Foshag; V. Ben Meen, Toronto,
Canada; Edwin Reiber, Rochester, N.Y.
From 1955 to 1958: Dr. Ralph J. Holmes, Columbia University; Dr. T.
Howard James, Rochester, N.Y.; Dr. Robert E. Marshak, Rochester, N.Y.
1959: Dr. Robert L. Nichols, Tufts College.
1960: Dr. L. L. Pechuman, Cornell University.
1961: Maurice Broun, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Kempton, Pa.
1962: Sister Muriel, S.S.J., Nazareth Academy, Rochester, N.Y.
1964: Mr. Albert W. Bussewitz, Norfolk, Mass.
1965: Dr. Peter Paul Kellogg, Cornell University.
1966: Dr. Warren H. Wagner, Jr., University of Michigan.
1967 : Wayne Harris, Fairport, N.Y., Dr. T. J. Wilson, University of
1971: Dr. Wolf Vishniac, Rochester, N.Y.
1972: Dr. Cornelius Hurlbut, Harvard University
1975: Paul E. DeSautels, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.;
Dr. Vincent Manson, American Museum of Natural History, New York, N.Y.
1976: Dr. Clifford Frondel, Harvard University; Dr. Judith Frondel,
Harvard University; Charles Key, Canton, Conn.
1977: Mr. Harold D. Mitchell, Williamsville, N.Y.
1979: Peter G. Embry, London, England, Curator of Minerals at the British
Museum of Nature History.
1980: Dr. Robert F. Smith, Cornell University.
FELLOWS OF THE ROCHESTER ACADEMY OF SCIENCE (FRAS)
Over the years there has come about a change in the concept of Academy
Fellows. We have noted how, from 1889 on through the 1920's, Fellows
were chosen in rather wholesale fashion from Active Members whose interests
in science were "professional or permanent" or who had rendered
distinguished service to the Academy. At the June 1889, meeting 29 Fellows
were elected all at once. The constitution provided that they be a majority
on the Council and in general be in firm control of Academy affairs.
Professor Fairchild occasionally referred to "attaining perfect
membership," by which he apparently meant becoming a Fellow. Generally
about one-fourth to one-third of the Active Members were Fellows. Apparently
this was to insure that the Academy never would deteriorate into a mere
recreational or entertainment organization in the hands of amateurs.
Nowhere in the records is there an account of any special ceremony connected
with the award of a Fellowship.
The revised constitution of 1946 appears to reflect a change in outlook.
Fellows are not listed as a separate class of members. Chapter 1 of
the by-laws says, "active members (including Life members and Fellows)
shall be those over 21 years of age who wish to take an active part
in the affairs of the Academy" and it goes on to specify how Fellows
are to be chosen (the way they are today). Due to the lack of secretary's
minutes for the 1940's it is impossible to determine when the first
ceremony for the awarding of a Fellowship occurred or who received it
or who read the citation. It could have been 1948 when Dr. Dean Gamble
and Dr. Richard H. Goodwin received the honors.
At any rate, somewhere in the late 1940's or early 1950's there began
the delightful annual custom of the
special ceremony of conferring Fellowships and Life and Honorary memberships.
Typical of these affairs was the one on April 23, 1953, which followed
the Fairchild Memorial Lecture held in the Museum's Small Auditorium.
The lecturer was Dr. Patrick Hurley, of Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
who spoke on "Radioactivity and Geologic History." Then came
the formal presentation of Fellowships to Miss Louise Zeitler, Dr. Wallace
0. Fenn and Dr. Henry C. Staehle. The citations were beautifully written
and read by William S. Cornwell. Following the ceremony there was a
reception in the Museum library on the second floor, complete with receiving
line, floral decorations, refreshments and gracious ladies serving punch.
Variations on that theme have occurred nearly every year since.
Below are listed all those who have received Academy fellowships during
the last 100 years.
MEMBERS OF THE ROCHESTER ACADEMY OF SCIENCE MADE "FELLOWS"
For Period 1889 to 1900: Myron Adams; James W. Allis; Prof. Albert
L. Arey; H. F. Atwood; Prof. Arthur L. Baker; Frank C. Baker; Edward
Bausch; Florence C. Beckwith; Robert Bunker; Adelbert Cronise; Shelley
G. Crump; John M. Davison, Prof. Charles Wright Dodge; A. M. Dumond;
Dr. S. A. Ellis; Herman Leroy Fairchild; Dr. Charles Forbes; Dr. P.
Max Foshay; Joseph B. Fuller; Rev. C. B. Gardner; H. Roy Gilbert; E.
H. Giffith;l George H. Harris; David Jayne Hill; Edwin E. Howell; Emil
Kuichling; Samuel A. Lattimore; Dr. J. Edward Line; S. A. Lowe; Mary
Macauley; Henry C. Maine; Dr. Maitland L. Mallory; A. S. Mann; Mrs.
James H. McGuire; Dr. Franz Muecke; H. L. Preston; George W. Rafter;
William M. Rebasz; J. 0. Roe; Dr. J. L. Roseboom; Charles W. Seelye;
Walter B. Smith; Dr. E. V. Stoddard; Major William Streeter; J. Nelson
Tubbs; Dr. M. A. Veeder; Rev. John Walton; Charles H. Ward; Frank A.
Ward; Prof. Henry A. Ward; Prof. Z. F. Westervelt; James Eugene Whitney.
From 1900 to 1911: Dr. Eveline P. Ballintine; Florus R. Baxter; Milton
S. Baxter; Prof. V. J. Chambers; Vincent Dewing; Gilbert S. Dey; Rear
Admiral Franklin Hanford; Dr. Charles W. Hennington; Dr. Charles T.
Howard; Dr. Herbert W. Hoyt; Dr. William D. Merrell; Dr. Richard M.
Moore; Milton B. Punnett; Dr. Charles R. Sumner.
From 1911 to 1919: Dr. Harold L. Alling; B. Edmund Angell, M.D.; Avery
Allen Ashdown; Prof. Guy A. Bailey; Cogswell Bentley; Fred S. Boughton;
Julia R. Brewington; Ernest Brown; Schuyler Bull; Harry A.
Carpenter; George H. Chadwick; Leighton R. Cornman, M.D.; Henry H. Covell;
Alvin H. Dewey; Charles A. Dewey; John Dunbar; George L. English; William
V. Ewers, M.D.; Charles C. Hopkins; Ivan C. Jaggar; Ellsworth P. Killip;
Warren A. Matthews; C. E. Kenne th Mees; Louis A. Pechstein; Herman
K. Phinney; Fred W. Ross; Anna B. Suydam; J. Foster Warner; George Wendt;
Miss Frances G. West; Douglas M. White; Charles C. Zoller.
From 1919 to 1929: Melvin D. Andrews; William H. Boardman; Alice Harris
Brown; Elizabeth Dunbar; William L. G. Edson; Prof. Floyd C. Fairbanks;
L. E. Jewell; Charles Messerschmitt; Prof. F.W.C. Meyer; Dr. Arthur
C. Parker; Joseph H. Sinclair; Milroy N. Stewart; Robert C. Vance; Harry
1942: Dr. Dean. L. Gamble
1948: Dr. Richard H. Goodwin; John E. Hartfelder
1949: Miss Melissa E. Bingeman; Dr. Sherman C. Bishop; Dr. Grace A.
B. Carter; William S. Cornwell; Edwin G. Foster; Dr. John Edward Hoffmeister;
John R. Russell.
1950: H. Lou Gibson; David E. Jensen; W. Stephen Thomas.
1951: Dr. Edward T. Boardman; Mrs. Katherine H. Jensen; Dr. Robert
1952: Dr. Babette I. Brown Coleman; Janet H. Clark; Paul Davis; Charles
F. Hutchinson; Dr. John Russell; Frank Hawley Ward.
1953: Dr. Wallace 0. Fenn; Dr. Henry C. Staehle; Miss Louise Zeitler.
1954: Leo J. Houlihan.
1955: Dr. E. E. Jelley; Floyd Slater; Mrs. Elizabeth Slater; Dr. Robert
1956: Mrs. Vera Boardman; Bernard Harkness; Paul Stevens; Leo J. Tanghe;
Dr. James S. Wishart.
1957: Ralph K. Dakin; Allan S. Klonick; Dr. William B. Muchmore; Fred
1958: Reginald W. Hartwell; George T. Keene.
1959: H. Everest Clements; Dr. Alexander L. Dounce; Robert
M. Eaton; Mrs. Walter Slifer.
1960: Russell E. Jenkins.
1961: Dr. Robert G. Sutton.
1962: Mrs. Helen Dakin; Joel Johnson; Stephen C. Weber.
1963: Miss Grace L. Murray; Charles F. Wray.
1964: Dr. Gerhard Leubner; Fred C. Amos; Dr. Harold Hodge; Mrs. Mildred
1965: Robert McKinney; Wendell Mohr.
1966: John W. Brown; Harry E. Gordon; Donald R. Yaeger.
1967: Howard S. Miller; Dr. Neil S. Moon; Dr. Henry E. Paul; Dr. Udell
1968: Chester Carlson; Joseph W. Taylor; Walter Whyman.
1969: John McMaster; Dr. Albert C. Smith, Jr.; Dr. E. T. Wentworth.
1970: Henry E. Byers; Ian C. McLennan; Mrs. Laura Moon.
1971: Mrs. Gertrude Brown; Kenneth J. Brown; Miss Dorothy Lind.
1972: Dr. Clarence W. Gehris; Richard G. Hoppe; Mrs. Mary Ann Sunderlin.
1973: Frank A. Dlyers; Allen E. Kemnitzer.
1974: Dr. Leslie R. Bacon; Mrs. Isabelle Bacon; Dr. Gordon
1975: Dr. Lawrence J. King; William W. Pinch.
1976: Alvin R. Grant; Floyd T. King.
1977: Dr. Robert D. Coffee; Mrs. Elizabeth Y. Pixley.
1978: William Leo Hollingsworth; Warren Lewis Lloyd; Mrs. Marion Fish
1979: William F. Coons; Mrs. Sarah M. Talpey.
1980: James Lowell Orbison, M.D.; Alfred E. Vragel.
THE ASTRONOMY SECTION
by William Hollingsworth
The local group of astronomy enthusiasts was formally organized into
an Academy Section on May 31, 1945 with 22 members. Paul Stevens was
elected Chairman and Merlin Groff recorder. Three lectures were given
during that year, entitled "Optical Lenses and Prisms," "Photography
of the Sun and Moon," and "Eclipses of the Sun and Moon."
Two observing sessions were also held to observe the three cornered
conjunction of the moon, Mars and Saturn on October 23 and November
23 and one session to observe the total eclipse of the moon on December
Stevens and Groff continued as officers during 1946. At the May 1947
meeting Mark Caulkins became chairman and Edward M. Root recorder. Guest
lecturers during that year included W. F. Swann of Eastman Kodak on
"Sun Spots and the Aurora," H. W. Southgate of the Democrat
and Chronicle on "Random Thoughts on Stars" and Dr. Henry
Paul of Norwich, New York on "Development of the Schmidt Camera."
The section has participated in many interesting projects, including:
watching the full moon during times of bird migrations and attempting
to determine species and flight height by timing wing beats and length
of time to cross the moon's face; determining meteor heights by triangulation
from two or more stations; conducting star parties to increase public
interest in the heavens; locating and timing artificial satellites;
conducting astrophotographic competitions; and operating public observing
programs using telescopes at the Bausch Museum and the Strasenburgh
Planetarium of the RMSC.
The following pages include specifics on these projects and other reminiscences
by present section members.
The Astronomy Section had its beginning as a group in the mid-nineteen
twenties. It is impossible to determine precisely, as there are only
two surviving members of those long-gone years who strained their uncertain
memories so that this chronicle might be written. In the early years
there was no election of officers, no dues were collected, and no minutes
of meetings were written down. It is hardly surprising that virtually
no events can be pinpointed.
It seems that it all began with Dr. Floyd Fairbanks, Professor of Astronomy
at the University of Rochester. He began by offering monthly evening
lectures of a popular nature in the Physics Building of the Prince Street
Campus. Anyone interested was welcome to attend, and as Professor Fairbanks
was a gifted and inspiring lecturer he soon collected a small but loyal
group of followers. Among these early members of Fairbanks' "class"
(nearly ten years were
to pass before the group formalized themselves into a club) were: Leo
Houlihan, an optician at Wollensak Optical Company; Robert Crosby, a
man of many talents including stone cutting and engraving, and a teacher
of mechanical drawing and machine shop practice at Edison Technical
High; and Louise Zeitler, who was employed by the Lincoln Alliance Bank.
As Professor Fairbanks' class grew and became better known other stalwarts
were attracted. There was Rev. John Betlem, sometime sheet metal worker
and later a Baptist minister, who used his skill in metal fabrication
to advantage in building his telescope and observatory. still later,
in 1934 Paul Davis joined the group. Paul was a well known commercial
photographer who quickly turned his photographic skill to astronomy.
By the mid-thirties Professor Fairbanks retired from teaching and the
group formally organized itself into the Rochester Astronomical Society,
with Fairbanks the unanimous choice as President. Louise Zeitler was
elected SecretaryTreasurer, a post she was to occupy for the next 30
years. For many years there were no other offices. Monthly meetings
were held at the old Edgerton library for some time, and when that was
torn down, the group held meetings in each others homes.
In 1945 the group became affiliated as a section of the Rochester Academy
of Science. From then on for the next 29 years monthly meetings were
held in the Bausch Museum, while monthly observing meetings continued
to be held in members' homes.
All through these years the organization continued to attract a succession
of talented people. Paul Stevens, a recent graduate of MIT arrived in
1939 and immediately immersed himself in a host of activities. He was
a skilled mathematician and especially enjoyed assisting other members
with their telescope-making problems of a mathematical nature. It was
largely through Paul's efforts that the section members were privileged
to hear lectures by and meet with a succession of world renowned astronomers.
Among them were: Ira S. Bowen, Director of Mt. Wilson and Palomar Observatories;
Harlow Shapley of Harvard; Bart J. Bok of Palomar; George Gamow, a leading
exponent of the "Big Bang" theory of the origin of the universe;
and Sir Harold Spencer Jones, Astronomer Royal of Great Britain.
Later came Henry Paul and Ralph Dakin and George Keene, all superbly
versatile instrument men. Dr. Paul even built a fine quartz monochromator,
an instrument intended to make solar prominences visible at any time,
without the necessity of visiting the site of a total solar eclipse.
It was probably the most difficult instrument any member of the section
ever attempted to fabricate. And George Keene built a series of telescopes
culminating in one with a 20 inch f/5
mirror, the largest scope ever built by an amateur in this part of the
Through all these years many of the members made at least one, others
many annual pilgrimages to Stellafane, that mecca of all amateur astronomers
in Springfield, Vermont, where amateur telescope making originated.
Several of the members even got to know the old originator himself,
Russell W. Porter. Even after Porter left Springfield to take a hand
in designing the 200-inch telescope and in selecting Palomar Mountain
as the site to build the observatory, he returned every year to Stellafane
to counsel the amateurs gathered there and to make a progress report
on the big telescope. He died in 1949, soon after it was completed.
Ralph Dakin has set a record that few, if any, are likely to beat--he
has not missed a gathering at Stellafane in 45 years. He first went
there while still a student in high school.
With completion of the Strasenburgh Planetarium the Section shifted
its monthly meeting place to the Planetarium. A cooperative arrangement
was made with the planetarium director whereby members of the section
would hold open house for public viewing during the summer months with
telescopes on the roof tower of the building in return for use of the
facilities of the planetarium for meeting purposes. Several of the members
have also taught evening courses in elementary astronomy, telescope
making and astrophotography at the Planetarium.
Throughout its history, the section has always maintained its amateur
status. Anyone who had an interest in astronomy or telescopes was welcome
And what of the future? The section looks forward someday to having
an observatory of its own on a plot of land owned by the section, or
on suitable public land in an area unpolluted by the lights of shopping
plazas, freeways, golf driving ranges and streets. The proliferation
of these sky pollution sources, especially in the last 20 years make
the prospect discouraging. However, Academy astronomers can look and
hope, perhaps indeed they may some day have a place such as sister astronomy
clubs have in Syracuse and Buffalo. Otherwise, the section expects to
continue pretty much as in the past to serve its members, and in its
own way to serve the entire community.
REMINISCENSES--ROCHESTER MOONWATCH by Russell E. Jenkins
The Rochester Moonwatch team was a group of volunteer visual observers
of artificial earth satellites. Most members were associated with the
Astronomy Section. It was one of 90 teams worldwide organized by the
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in 1956. Rochester continued active
for the duration of the program which ended in 1975. The Rochester team
logged 5,796 observations of 542 space
objects in this time interval starting with Sputnik I and ending with
the Salyut/Soyuz space laboratory.
The observations were used for a variety of purposes. The Smithsonian
required highly accurate positional data of a certain few objects for
their studies of the earth's shape and gravity fields. The Western Satellite
Research Network, composed of Rochester and 11 other teams, made visual
observations to supplement radar data for such purposes as proper separation
of launch components, tumble rates, balloon inflation, decay characteristics,
and orbit maintenance of objects inaccessible to radar because of range
(Molniya, Paegos I) or crossection (60 Iota 4).
The Rochester Moonwatch team was formed by Ralph Dakin and led for most
of its existence by Russell Jenkins. They operated from six registered
sites at the homes of Dr. Alex Dounce, Clark Butler, Russell Jenkins,
Ray Newell, Walter Whyman and Dr. John Cain. The precise geographic
location of each registered site was filed with the Smithsonian and
other tracking agencies.
More than 60 people served the team at one time or another as either
observers, equipment builders, or data handlers. Those who made substantial
contributions, in addition to the on-site leaders, were Ralph Dakin,
George Schindler, Richard Karlson, George Gibbs, Cliff Field, Wally
Rust, Sam Tuccio, Jerry Durand, Ed Root and George Keene.
The Rochester team attended several conferences with the users of their
data: in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the Smithsonian Astrophysical
Observatory; in Colorado Springs, with NORAD; in Denver, Colorado, with
the Western Satellite Research Network; in McAllen, Texas, with a university
group; and at Bedford, Massachusetts, with SPACE TRACK. As a result
of improved timing, BD Chart positions, larger aperture and higher power
telescopes, Rochester earned the ,reputation for making precise, reliable
observations with a timing accuracy of 0.2 sec and position accuracy
of 41 of arc.
NASA and the Smithsonian Institute commended the Rochester team for
their contributions. The Academy awarded a fellowship to Russell Jenkins,
citing his leadership of the local effort.
The Rochester team was visited frequently for consultation and demonstration
of their equipment and techniques. The several Smithsonian Moonwatch
section chiefs all made one or more visits.
Many exciting moments stud the history of the Rochester team. George
Schindler is not likely to forget being thrust into the limelight in
August 1960. As temporary leader of the team on the night of the launch
of Echo I, the first readily visible United States satellite, he was
beseiged by newspaper reporters, the general public and the Smithsonian.
Dick Karlson discovered Sputnik 4's breakup in orbit in a failed recovery
attempt in May 1960. Alex Dounce remarked
after the first observation of Explorer I, "devilishly faint."
Other notable events in the team's history include: the decay of Sputnik
2; the location of the Vanguard I rocket one year after launch in a
search organized by Gary McCue; the tracking of four components of the
Echo I launch for 11 months until radar took over; and the many "first
ever" observations (Skylab, Vostok III, Vostok IV, Salyut II, Apollo
enroute to the moon, Echo II, Vanguard III, etc.). The team was consulted
often by local authorities to identify UFO's and to provide local circumstances
for Sputnik, Echo and Skylab passes.
TELESCOPE MAKING ACTIVITIES (Ralph K. Dakin)
Most of the home-made telescopes used by section members were made
by the members themselves in their own workshops. The only formal mirror
grinding and polishing class was held in the 1960's at Edison Technical
High School under the direction of Robert Crosby, section member and
teacher at the school. Several mirrors were finished and nearly all
were installed in operational, mounted telescopes.
IN THE DAYS BEFORE THE PLANETARIUM
Beginning in late 1961, the Astronomy Section conducted a regular public
observing program in the Bausch Museum every Friday night during July
through September. A 4-inch William Mogey refractor which had been donated
to the museum by the widow of Dr. Homer Harvey of Canandaigua was used.
It was reconditioned and painted by George Keene and Ralph Dakin, and
was then installed on the rear roof of the Museum inside a small rollaway
building. The telescope was used on
clear evenings, while one of a series of talks on Astronomy
which had been generated by section members was used on
cloudy nights. The talks became almost as popular as the
telescopic observations and included "Five Great Astronomers"
by Bennett Cleveland, "The Sun" by Robert Crumrine, "Telescope
Making" by Ralph Dakin, "Astronomical Photography" by
Alexander Dounce, "Comets and Their Tales" by George Gibbs,
"Artificial Satellites" by Russell Jenkins, "Stonehenge"
by Richard Karlson, "Color Astrophotographyll by George Keene,
"Finding stellar Objects" by Martin Senour and a "General
Astronomy" slide talk by Stephen Weber.
WHEN PLANETARIUM FACILITIES BECAME AVAILABLE, SEPTEMBER 1968
The Strasenburgh Planetarium was provided with an observing platform
and an observatory building with roll-off roof suitable for housing
the 12 l-, inch Cave Newtonian telescope donated by Bausch and Lomb
Inc. At a later date an 8-inch Criterion Newtonian telescope was donated
by section member Fred Tompkins and mounted on the platform. When not
the 8-inch telescope tube is stored in the observatory building on a
bracket made by Kenneth Brown. Since their installation, both instruments
have been operated by the senior and junior section members and open
to the public every clear Monday and Thursday night from May through
the end of October. Contributions in memory of Edward Root were used
to purchase an observing ladder and a Barlow lens. A small public address
system and a spotlight pointer were donated by Ralph Dakin.
THIRTY YEARS OF SOLAR ECLIPSES (George T. Keene)
The sight of a total solar eclipse is an awe inspiring sight, and has
served as a spectacular excuse for many section members to take long
trips--even around the world-to see one. Bad weather, however, often
results in standing in the rain as well as in the moon's shadow. Memories
of some past eclipse-chases follow: (1) 1951 Annular eclipse at Chapel
Hill, N.C., Ralph Dakin and George Keene--cloudy ' (2) 1954 Upper Michigan,
Ralph Dakin--clear; Iceland, Air Force Expedition, Bill Hollingsworth--clear;
Missinaibi River, Canada, George Keene--black flies, giant mosquitoes
' drizzle. (3) 1959 Salem Massachusetts, Chuck Spoelhof, Dick Karlson,
Bill Hollingsworth, Steve Weber and George Keene-rain. (4) 1963 Crono,
Maine, Bill Fitzgerald, Ralph Dakin, Steve Weber and George Keene--rain;
Cadillac mt., Maine, George Schindler and Bill Hollingsworth--clear.
(5) 1970, Mexico, Jack Paris and Bill Fitzgerald--clear; Virginia, Chuck
Spoelhof and Steve Weber--clear; Valdosa, Georgia, Carlton Cain and
George Keene--rain. (6) 1973 At Sea off Mauritania: The flexibility
of a ship in response to weather satellite information allowed George
Keene and 1800 others aboard the "Canberra" 7 minutes of clear
eclipse observing ' (7) 1977 At sea 1500 miles southeast of Acapulco,
Ralph Dakin and George Keene--clear eclipse, surrounded by storm clouds.
(8) 1979 Lavina, Montana, George Keene--clear; Keenes's photograph of
this event appeared on the cover of Life magazine, April 1979. (9) 1980
Kenya, Africa, Chuck Spoelhof and George Keene--clear.
THE BOTANICAL SECTION
by Marion Schneider and Babette Coleman
The Botanical Section is as old as the Academy. It was organized in
1881 with eleven charter members. George T. Fish, the Section's first
president, was the man who "discovered" Bergen Swamp and made
known what a wealth of plant life was growing there. That is where he
1864, a specimen of the Small White Lady's-Slipper (Cypripedium candidum),
the first time it was reported for New York State. That specimen still
is preserved in the Academy Herbarium that is maintained by the section.
It is reproduced as the frontispiece of this issue of the Proceedings.
Early records of the section give interesting glimpses of what Rochester
was like nearly 100 years ago. The section's first field trip was to
Mount Hope Cemetery where the members found Pink Moccasin Flowers (Cypripedium
acaule) growing. Transportation was mostly by horse and buggy or foot,
yet the early botanists discovered most of the unusual and rich localities
of the lower Genesee River Valley, the common as well as rare species
of the area. A large tract of marshy woods east of what is now Seneca
Park yielded many rare plants as did the thick woods where now stands
the University of Rochester Memorial Art Gallery.
From the beginning, the section's whole reason for being was to make
a collection of the plants of Rochester and western New York and to
make known the flora of the region. All energies were directed to collecting,
preserving, mounting and identifying specimens. Members' collections
were combined to form the Academy Herbarium and Joseph B. Fuller was
appointed Curator in Botany of the Academy And of its Herbarium. In
1896 the Academy published in volume 3 of its Proceedings an annotated
list titled "Plants of
Monroe County, New York and Adjacent Territory" that listed 1362
A supplementary list published in 1911increased the species described
to 1584, and by 1917 the
second supplement published raised the total to 1761 species. Subsequent
publications on the flora region have more often been of the nature
of floristic studies of special habitats or areas.
This first systematic flora of Monroe County and its environs, conceived
and planned by Mrs. Mary Streeter, 2nd President of the Academy, was
compiled and published by a Committee of the Botanical section of whom
Florence Beckwith, Mary E. Macauley, Joseph B. Fuller and Milton S.
Baxter appeared as authors.
As the authors of the flora begun in 1896 point out, much earlier botanical
exploration in the Genesee Country had created a tradition on which
the early Botanical Section of the Academy built. Among these pioneers
were F. A. Michaux who traveled in the region between 1785 and 1796,
and who drew attention to several notable sylvan species including the
"black sugar maple" (Acer nigrum). Intensive studies of the
plants of the Rochester environs had been made by Rev. Chester Dewey
during his residence in Rochester from 1836 to 1867, and he summarized
some of his observations in a "Catalogue of Plants and Their Time
of Flowering In and About the City of Rochester for the Year 184111
which was published in the Annual Report of the Regents in Albany
in 1842. Dr. Dewey inspired the study and observation of plants by many
of the charter section members.
Another strong influence in the early period of the Academy was through
Rochester nursery and seedsmen. Thi s influence is referred to by the
authors of the second Supplement, wherein they acknowledge contributions
from men like Dunbar, Slavin, Brown and Dewing, as well as contri _
butions by Charles S. Sargent of the Arnold Arboretum of Boston. This
latter organization as well as the EllwangerBarry Nurseries of Rochester
had close ties with Kew Gardens in Great Britain.
By the late 1930's, both the Academy and the Botanical Section were
in a serious decline. The older remaining members of the section were
relatively inactive in field work, and no appreciable effort had been
made to recruit new younger members. In fact, by the early 1940's Academy
membership was reduced to about 40 paying members. This posed a serious
problem because faltering publication of the Proceedings endangered
continuation of the extensive scientific publications exchange program
deposited with the Library of the University of Rochester. The arrival
of botanist Dr. Richard Goodwin on the faculty of the University of
Rochester at this time resulted in the revival of both the Academy and
the interest in botanical subjects ' Dr. Goodwin, along with his colleagues
John Russell, David Goddard, Sherman Bishop, and William Cornwell, resuscitated
the publication schedule of the Proceedings and stimulated membership
in the Academy by organizing two new sections, a Research Section and
a second Botanical Section. Volume 8 ' No. 5-6, published in 1943, listed
the Research Section, but not the new Botanical Section, which was listed
in Vol. 9, No. 2, published in 1948. In actual fact the second section
had been functioning since the beginning of the 1940's ' Over a period
of years the two Botanical Sections were merged.
Important results of the revival included renewed field activity in
botany, and a fresh flow of papers, many of them on botanical subjects
with the resumption in 1941 of issuing
of the Proceedings after an hiatus of nearly four years. Among the botanical
papers published were Goodwin's "Flora of Mendon Ponds Park,"
Shanks' and Goodwin's update of "Plants of Monroe County, New York
and Adjacent Territory" and supplements of 1896, 1910, and 1917.
This update was based on Royal E. Shanks field work 1938- 1940 and Goodwin's
and Warren A. Matthews' curatorial efforts on the Academy Herbarium
which had been housed from 1930 onwards at the University of Rochester.
Goodwin had in the process of
curating the Academy Herbarium merged that of the Department of Botany
of the University of Rochester with it. The full report of Shanks' survey
was finally published posthumously
by the Academy in 1966 under the title, "An Ecological Survey of
the Vegetation of Monroe
County, New York."
Another noteworthy botanical start in the 19401 s was the series of
papers on the flora of Bergen Swamp by W. C. Muenscher and his students.
In 1953, another significant study on the plants of Monroe County, etc.
was published by W. A. Matthews and Douglas M. White. This was a taxonomic
study of the Cyperaceae (Sedges) of the area and was based on years
of field work by the authors and records in the Academy and authors'
Recently a new series of floristic papers begun in 1969 has expanded
the area covered to include the entire Genesee Valley and drainage basin.
Meanwhile, space needs at the University of Rochester necessitated the
move in 1960 of the Herbarium, and at this time Dr. Edward T. Boardman
of the Rochester Museum and Science Center made space for it to be housed
there in Bausch House. A search began for a real and permanent home
for this fine and valuable collection. When it again had to be moved
in 1965, because of construction of the Strasenburgh Planetarium, Alvin
Grant, Director of the Monroe County Parks Department, made space available
in the Department building and verbally agreed to house it indefinitely.
No final agreement was reached before he retired, but his
successor, Calvin Reynolds, also agreed verbally to the
arrangement. A formal agreement was signed by him and
William F. Coons, President of the Academy, in 1979. Perma-
nent space was allocated for its storage at The Parks Department Building,
375 Westfall Road in Rochester. Mrs. Elizabeth Pixley, who had diligently
pursued a search for a permanent home for the Herbarium, was named Curator.
Much of the work of preparing and publishing the Proceedings has been
done with the assistance of section members. The Scientific Paper Sessions,
now held at various local colleges, which lend an impetus to research
by both students and their professors in the natural sciences, are organized
and produced with the help of the section. Also, members continue to
teach in schools and prepare displays for science fairs and meetings
of nature-oriented groups, as well as regular classes at the Rochester
Museum and Science Center. For the past 20 years, Vera Boardman, Dr.
E. T. Boardman, Dr. Babette B. Coleman and Dr. Leo Tanghe, members of
the section, have given their time and expertise in assisting the Poison
Control Center in identifying plants and mushrooms. Dr. Robert Roudabush
has assisted in the identification of snakes and insects.
The Botany and Entomology Sections combined in 1972 and monthly programs
are now presented dealing with both disciplines. Work on the Herbarium
continues regularly during fall and winter months and field trips are
scheduled during spring and summer months. The section has served through
the past century as a congenial environment and meeting point for persons
having an interest in plants and natural history, and a willingness
to improve their own knowledge
and help to educate the community about its interesting environment.
THE ENGINEERING SECTION
by Reginald W. Hartwell*
It is a not-too-well-known fact that the Rochester Engineering Society
had its beginnings 86 years ago as the Section of Engineering of the
Rochester Academy of Science. On January 21, 1895, when about 15 people
met to organize themselves as an Academy section, they choose as their
chairman "that most distinguished engineer and dynamic personality,
Emil Kuichling.11 The quotation is from Volume 1, No. 2, of The Rochester
Engineer published in December 1922. Mr. Kuichling was Rochester's city
engineer. one of his special concerns was the city's public health and
sanitation, and it is recorded that he was responsible for the establishment
throughout the city of specially designed hydrants to fill the water
carts used to lay the dust on Rochester's unpaved streets. He was made
a Fellow of the Academy in 1891, and he served as Councillor from 1899
to 1902. Recorder for the new section was Mr. J. Y. McClintock, Rochester's
city surveyor, who often read papers at the Academy's regular stated
The Engineering Section continued for the next two years, meeting regularly
in buildings at the University of Rochester. At a meeting on March 4,
1897, they heard the report of a committee that had been asked to confer
with the Academy Council about the possibility , of a portion of Academy
dues to be returned to the section for the purpose of acquiring literature
on engineering subjects and a place to store and use it. The committee
reported no action by the Academy Council. At the same time, the trustees
of the Reynolds Library had offered to match any amount raised by the
group for the purchase of engineering literature, plus the use of a
reading room to house it. Largely as a result of that generous offer,
the section meeting of March 18, 1897, approved the following resolution,
duly transmitted to the Academy Council: "Resolved that it is the
sense of this meeting that the Section of Engineering of the Academy
of Science be, and hereby is, dissolved." With that declaration
of independence, the Rochester Engineering society was born.
*Much material for the above account was furnished by Dr.
THE GEOLOGICAL-MINERALOGICAL SECTION
by Katherine Jensen
A Geological Section of the Academy was in existence as early as 1884.
Then there seems to be no more mention of this section until mention
is made of the Section being
From Vol. I, page 28 of the Academy Proceedings comes the following:
"The Geological Section was reorganized October 28, 1889, with
11 persons present. The officers elected were: Chairman, Edwin E. Howell
(brother-in-law of Prof. Henry A. Ward, professor at the University
of Rochester and founder of Ward's Natural Science, Est. in 1862); Vice
L. Arey; Recorder, H. L. Preston (mineralogist at Ward's) A sectional
Committee was elected December 1, 1889, subsequent to the adoption of
rules, consisting of J. M. Davison and H. L. Fairchild. The chairman
is ex-officio a member of this committee. The membership of the section
is now sixteen.
The meetings are held on the Tuesday evenings following the first and
third Mondays of each month, in the geological lecture room, Sibley
Hall, University of Rochester. The rules under which the section is
working are intended to combine at each meeting the proper scientific
work of the section with some instruction in the science, in order to
reach and benefit all classes of its membership. In pursuance of this
plan, a portion of LeConte's Elements of Geology has been assigned for
discussion at each meeting, following sectional work."
In Vol. III, page 33 of the Proceedings, it is mentioned that this
Geology Section continued for about three years.
The Academy Council, on March 12, 1917, was petitioned for organization
of a new Geological Section. This was granted and the section formed
with Dr. George H. Chadwick as its Chairman, and Cogswell Bentley as
Recorder. Chairmen of the Geological Section, as listed in the Proceeding
for the years 1917 through 1935, were: George H. Chadwick, 1917, 1919-1922;
Florus R. Baxter, 1918; Alfred C. Hawkins, 1923-1925; F.W.C. Meyer,
1926-1935. Recorders listed were: Cogswell Bentley, 1917-1918; Ernest
Brown, 1919-1920; Harold L. Alling, 1921-22; George L. English, 1926;
Robert C. Vance, 1927-1929.
This Geological Section was quite active until 1932, when interest in
it lapsed to near the brink of dissolution because of the depression.
It limped along until the spring of 1935, when Mr. George L. English,
of Ward's Natural Science Est., proposed that the weak Geological Section
be reorganized into a Mineralogical Section. Due to the enthusiastic
efforts of Mr. English, the Academy agreed to sponsor this change, and
on December 9, 1935, the Geological
Section became the Mineralogical Section. The Mineralogical Section
has remained an active section of the Academy through the years and
had grown in membership to 176 in 1980.
Soon after the Geological Section became the Mineralogical Section,
Mr. Robert C. Vance, mineralogist at ward's became its chairman. He
remained chairman of the section until 1947, when Charles W. Foster
became chairman. A long line of capable chairmen followed.
The presence of Ward's Natural Science Establishment, Inc. , and the
University of Rochester in the Rochester area made it natural that scientists
from both institutions would be deeply interested and take an active
part in both the Academy and the early Geological Section and its successor,
the Mineralogical Section. In recent years the name of the section has
been shortened to just Mineral Section.
Meetings were first held at the University of Rochester Prince Street
Campus. Then they were held at Ward's, which was then located at 302
North Goodman Street, not far from the campus. When Bausch Hall of the
Rochester Museum was completed, the meetings were moved there. Meetings
are currently held in the Educational Wing of Asbury First United Methodist
Soon after the meetings moved to the Rochester Museum of Arts and Science,
the section sponsored a Junior Group for several years. Then this group
activity became one of the several nature study groups for young people
supported by the Museum. It was during this early meeting period at
the Museum that the section provided the Museum with a changing mineral
exhibit in its Mineral alcove. During this period, several professional
members in the section helped the Museum with its other mineral exhibits.
Field trips have always been a well liked activity of the section.
These trips are usually planned for the summertime to localities where
minerals or fossils can be obtained for one's collection or used to
trade for other specimens. These field trips have taken members to Canada,
the New England States, Pennsylvania, all over the State of New York,
into Ohio and many other places. Some trips have been for a day and
others for as long as four days. There have been bus trips to see outstanding
mineral exhibits in out of-town museums, and there have been joint field
trips with other mineral clubs.
The prime purpose of these trips is to acquaint the hobbyist first hand
with the different types of mineral and fossil deposits and with the
material collected or viewed in exhibits. The rewards of these trips
are many: the new and fascinating people one meets, the satisfaction
of obtaining specimens with one's own hands, learning about specimen
quality from fine exhibits, and the enjoyment of beautiful scenery on
For years Ward's Natural Science Est., in Rochester, New York, has held
an "Open House" for members of the Mineral
Section and for members of other mineral clubs in a wide general area.
These "Open Houses" are held on a Saturday, and what an indoor
field trip everyone has. They can buy specimens or just browse and learn.
The drawers of minerals and fossils get a good looking over, and the
bins of bulk material in the back room are dug through in order to find
material for cutting into a beautiful gem.
In 1951, the Mineral Section became a charter member of the Eastern
Federation of Mineralogical and Lapidary Societies, which is one of
six regional federations in an American Federation of Mineralogical
Societies. The Eastern Federation covers all the states along the Eastern
sea coast, plus one club in Nova Scotia. Two members of the Mineral
Section are past presidents of the Eastern Federation, David E. Jensen
and his wife Katherine.
There is an American Federation Scholarship Fund to which the Mineral
Section and other clubs donate money each year. The interest from this
Fund each year is used for grants to worthy graduate students in the
field of earth science. Each of the six regional federations has the
privilege of selecting a student each year to receive a grant of at
least $1000 a year for two years.
In 1966, the Eastern Federation asked the Mineral Section if it would
host the Federation's Annual Gem and Mineral Show in 1969. After some
discussion, the Section voted to host the Show. The Rochester Lapidary
Society was asked to join the Mineral Section in this venture and accepted.
Since very few members in the section were familiar with a gem and mineral
show, it was decided to put on two small local shows. These were held
in 1967 and 1968 at St. John Fisher College. Both of these shows were
training grounds for the big 1969 one. The clubs needed display cases
for the shows in order to have a safe place for the display of gemstones,
minerals and jewelry. In the spring of 1967, members of both clubs got
together and constructed 40 display cases, 21 x 21 x 41, of wood with
glass fronts. Then in the spring of 1968, 32 more display cases were
built. These cases, with the ones then owned by the Eastern Federation,
proved to be enough for all the displays at the big Federation Show
The big Gem and Mineral show was held in the Rochester War Memorial
on June 26-28, 1969. Dealers were there from many area of the United
States and Canada selling minerals, fossils, gemstones, findings for
jewelry, equipment of all kinds for the hobbyist, etc. There were special
exhibits, working demonstrations, noncompetitive and competitive exhibits.
The competitive exhibits were entered by members of clubs in the Eastern
Federation. These exhibits were judged by teams of judges for lst, 2nd,
and 3rd place in each of several different classes. Plaques were also
awarded. There were lectures given each day, and a mini-mine for the
young people to dig in and find minerals. The
Federation's annual meeting was held on that Saturday and led by the
president of the Federation, Mrs. Katherine Jensen.
At the time of the big 1969 Federation Show here, the section put out
a "Guide" to the local collecting areas for the benefit of
those attending the show. Recently this guide was updated by Dr. Udell
Stone, and is titled "Field Trip Guide to Fossil and Mineral Localities."
After this big event there was no gem and mineral show in Rochester
for two years. Then in 1972, the two clubs decided to start putting
on shows again. The shows are still being held the first weekend in
May each year and are still jointly hosted by the two clubs. The public
is invited to these shows, which consist of a number of dealers selling
minerals, fossils, gemstones, findings for jewelry, equipment for the
hobbyist, a mini-mine for the children and a number of exhibits in display
cases. These exhibits are called an "Instant Museum" and are
put in by the members of both clubs.
On April 20- 21, 1974, the Mineral Section held its first Mineralogical
Symposium. The president of the Mineral Section at the time, Mrs. Katherine
Jensen, felt that something was needed for the mineral collector who
wanted to get more out of the hobby than he or she could get from their
club meetings. At that time there was nothing offered for the advanced
mineral collector except the meetings for the professional mineralogist,
which were on a highly technical
level. The first Mineralogical Symposium drew advanced mineral hobbyists
from not only the clubs in our general area, but from clubs several
hundred miles away. The speakers at the two day sessions were qualified
persons who could speak in a layman's language. The Mineralogical Symposium
is still held each year at a large motel in the area and is still growing
in size. The 1980 Symposium drew nearly 400 persons from all over the
U.S. and from Canada as well. A number of those attending have been
to most of the symposiums. The speakers have been prominent persons
from all over the United States and from Canada. There have even been
speakers from other countries. Exhibits of fine mineral specimens are
on display in cases in a room next to the lecture room. A number of
dealers of fine mineral specimens attend the meetings and sell specimens
out of their rooms in the motel when no lectures are in progress.
The Mineral Section has given small grants to worthy local students
in the earth science field. A recent grant was given to two students
at the State University at Brockport, New York, so they could complete
their abstract on the work they were doing on a local group of shales.
When their work was completed, the two students gave a talk before the
section on the work they had done. The Section then published their
paper in booklet form titled: "Paleoecology and Stratigraphy of
the Ledyard Shale, Hamilton Group, Spring
Creek, A -L de ii, New York" by Mark Domagale and Martin Selznick.
The section's newsletter, the "Rockester News, 11 was started in
September 1956 by the president of the section at that time, David E.
Jensen. It was started as a means of communication between the section
officers and the membership. It is the voice of the section and helps
to keep the business part of the meeting short by giving the members
a lot of information in printed form. The newsletter serves as a "calendar
of events" by listing all the dates for future meetings, field
trips and other section events. It also brings news of a broader scope,
such as news of the Eastern Federation and American Federation of Mineralogical
Societies. The newsletter has grown through the years until it is now
five sheets, printed on both sides. As much educational material as
there is room for is put into it. Many members keep the newsletter on
file for its educational material. The editor of this newsletter for
most of its life has been Mrs. Jensen, whose husband, David E. Jensen,
a mineralogist, has written many articles for it through the years.
The programs at the section meetings consist of illustrated talks by
advanced amateurs and professionals. Often there are displays related
to the speaker's subject. Once a year there is a "Show and Tell"
program where the members have a chance to show pictures they have taken,
specimens they have collected or bought, and to tell about their activities
which are related to the hobby of collecting minerals and fossils.
Usually in November or early December there is an annual buffet dinner
followed by a speaker, or by an auction of mineral specimens, books
and other items related to the field of mineral study. From time to
time educational courses have been given for the benefit of the section
The Mineral Section promotes interest in and the study of geology, mineralogy
and paleontology. The membership includes amateurs, advanced amateurs
and some professional scientists. It is the common interest in the earth
sciences that brings the members together.
THE MICROSCOPY SECTION
by Reginald W. Hartwell*
In the early pages of the Academy History you have seen the account
of the formation of the Rochester Microscopical
*Much material for the above account has been furnished by Dr. Lawrence
Society on January 13, 1879, and of how it became the Rochester Academy
of Science two years later in 1881. Minutes of the meetings of those
first two years are contained in a ledger-type bound volume in the handwriting
of the secretary, Dr. J. Edward Line. Those minutes continue through
1884 but from 1881 on they are minutes of the Rochester Academy of Science,
and they are in the handwriting of the Academy's first secretary, Henry
C. Maine and his successors.
Meetings of the pre-Academy Microscopical Society were held on the second
Monday of each month. Article II of their by-laws gives an interesting
insight into what went on in those meetings. The president was required,
at each meeting, "to appoint, for the following meeting, one member
to read a paper or give a discourse on any subject he may choose connected
with Microscopy." The president also was required at the same time
to "read the names of ten or more members, taken alphabetically
and in succession ... who shall be requested to bring microscopes and
specimens for exhibition at the next meeting." Besides the regular
meetings, the Society staged annual "Soirees" that were exhibitions
of various types of microscopes set up for the viewing of specimens
by the public. The "Second Annual Soiree" of the Society was
held in the Hall of the Rochester Free Academy on the evening of June
7, 1880. Sixty exhibitors set up their microscopes for public viewing
of many kinds of specimens under magnifications of up to 1800 diameters.
Though there is no record of the attendance at that particular affair,
others are said to have attracted upwards of 2000 visitors. Those soirees
continued, under full Academy
sponsorship, at least through 1886. On August 24, 1884, the Sixth Annual
Soiree was held in the New York State Arsenal, when the Academy was
host to the annual meeting of the American Society of Microscopists.
It seems reasonable to assume that after 1881, the parent Microscopical
Society at first continued much as usual under the new name and that
probably it did not immediately assume the subordinate position of "Section
of Microscopy." At any rate, there are no minutes of the section,
as a section, until 1885 when we find a series of three printed booklets
entitled "Rochester Academy of science, Bulletin of the section
of Microscopy." The first is a 12-page pamphlet with records of
the Section's meetings in October and November of 1885, and two papers
by Ernst Gundlach (presumably read at those meetings) on "The Use
of Optical Instruments" and "On Using Objectives, and Resolution
of Test Objects." Next is a booklet of 22 pages, covering meetings
from January through April 1886. it contains three papers: Illuminating
Apparatus for the Microscopy" was by Edward Bausch; H. F. Atwood
wrote on "Testing Butter and Other Fats"; and Joseph N. Levi
was the author of "Photo-Macrographic Work and Apparatus."
third bulletin (27 pages) covers the meeting of May 26, 1886, and it
contains a long paper by George W. Rafter of Ward's Natural Science
Establishment, entitled "On the Use of the Microscope In Determining
the Sanitary Value of Potable Water--With Special Reference to the Biology
of Hemlock Lake." In his "History of the Society" (Volume
3 of the Proceedings, page 322), Professor Fairchild notes that the
"Microscopical Society" (by which he surely means the Microscopy
Section) leased and furnished a room in the Durand Building for its
own work--about 1886 or 1887.
No other records of a Microscopy Section appear until 1938, when Volume
8 of the Proceedings lists Dr. Robert Roudabush as chairman and Melvin
D. Andrews as recorder of the Microscopy Section. Dr. Roudabush was
then in charge of the microscope slide department of Ward's Natural
Science Establishment. He recalls that Dr. Dean Gamble, Ward's president,
made it a condition of his employment there that he head an Academy
Microscopy Section. Meetings were held at Ward's, which then was on
North Goodman Street. They were concerned chiefly with the preparation
of material for microscope slides. According to Dr. Roudabush, most
of the section members were more interested in the optics of microscopy,
with the result that the section became inactive along about 1941 or
It was 15 years before another Microscopy Section became activated.
On March 16, 1956, there was a meeting in Craft Room B of the Museum
held for the purpose of "forming a local group devoted to the field
of microscopy." The group's first meeting took place on October
18 of that year. Two speakers were featured. Germain Crossman of Bausch
& Lomb spoke on "Types of Microscopes and Their Application's
and Dr. Roudabush, who now was with Eastman Kodak's Industrial Medicine
Laboratory, spoke on "Preparing Specimens For Microscopy."
The section continued to meet regularly during 1957 and 1958, with varied
programs dealing with uses of microscopes and the preparation of specimens.
No scheduled meetings appear in the Academy Bulletin after May 1958,
and the Section became inactive shortly thereafter. David K. Bulloch
and Robert L. Seidenberg were chairmen of the section during those years
and Angelina Montalto and Martha Bruning were the recorders.
-There followed another hiatus of 14 or 15 years until 1974, when David
C. Collins, then of Bausch & Lomb's Scientific Instrument Division,
and Martin L. Scott, of Kodak's Scientific Photography department, approached
the Academy Board of Directors about organizing a Microscopy Section.
They were given enthusiastic encouragement, and the new section formally
was organized in February 1974, with Mr. Collins as Chairman and Mr.
Scott as Secretary-Treasurer, positions they have held ever since. The
first meeting on March 5, 1974, was one of basics, the "Nomenclature
and Anatomy of a Microscope." Regular meetings were scheduled
for the first Tuesday of each month. They were held first in the basement
craft rooms at the Museum and later in a room in the School of Science
and Man. In May of 1974 they enjoyed a combined picnic with the Botany-Entomology
Section and generally have held one of their own every year since.
Subjects treated at their meetings have included biological staining,
examination of an earthworm under the scope, parasitology, and tissue
typing. "Small Particle Identification Techniques" was the
title of a two-part series given on March 6 and April 3, 1979, by Dr.
Richard Strong, Research Director at Park Ridge Hospital. The Section
had exhibits at the Science Exploration Days at St. John Fisher College
in May 1977, 1978 and 1979. They were the sponsors of the Academy's
Spring Public Lecture and Annual Fellows Night held in May 1980 at the
Hilton Inn on the Campus when Dr. Robert F. Smith of Cornell University,
spoke on "Both Sides of Infinity."
In January 1979, Academy President William Coons was a guest at a reception
held at the home of Chairman Collins to celebrate the "centennial"
of the section, which, of course, was a "pseudo-centennial"
because of the many intervening years of the section's non-existence.
Nevertheless, President Coons and Chairman Collins cut the birthday
cake together. Now, at this writing, there appears in the November 1980
Academy Bulletin an appeal for new officers to assume responsibility
for continuing the section. It remains to be seen if it can persist
into its second century.
HISTORY OF THE ORNITHOLOGY SECTION
(GENESEE ORNITHOLOGICAL SOCIETY)
by Gordon Meade, M.D.
Prior to World War II very few persons in the Rochester area had an
active and informed interest in birds. Their "birding" was
limited to the city's parks and areas which could be reached on foot,
by bicycle or trolley. Popular spots were Highland Park, Cobb's Hill
woods, and the "Dingle" below them, Brick Yard Ponds, Mt.
Hope Cemetery, Tryon and Seneca Parks; rarely did they visit Durand
Eastman, Powder Mill, and Mendon Ponds Parks.
The herbarium office in Highland Park was the place where birders met,
reported their observations, and learned about the latest avian "discoveries."
Two herbarium employees, William L. G. Edson and Richard M. Horsey,
were active birders who made observations during their work as botanists
in Highland and Genesee Valley Parks. They had a large wall chart on
which species were recorded as they were first reported, and then each
succeeding observation during the
year was entered. At the end of each year the data were transferred
by species to file cards. Thus a wealth of information was accumulated
about the region's birds.
The most enthusiastic of the birders who frequented the herbarium gradually
began to bird together. They were encouraged and guided in their interest
by Mr. Edson. In 1938
he decided the time had come to form an ornithological club in Rochester.
So, on June 9, 1938, the following charter members met in Edson's home
and founded the Genesee Ornithological Society: William L. G. Edson,
Clarence Goetz, Carson Jarvis, Allan Klonick, Robert Koch, Gordon Meade,
Howard Miller, Don Nelson, Richard O'Hara, and Ambrose Secker. Four
of these are still active in ornithology: Klonick, Meade, Nelson, and
The infant organization held its first field trip on August 21, 1938,
along the lakeshore east of Sodus. The minutes record that Ambrose Secker,
Mr. & Mrs. Edson, and Gordon Meade "observed a Bald Eagle at
Preston's Creek and a willet at chimney Bluffs."
In those days the society was chauvinistically male in its attitude.
Finally on December 11, 1946, Gertrude David was admitted as the first
woman member. At the same meeting a vote was taken on the question of
having winter field trips; the vote was 4 in favor, 5 opposed!
The first Christmas Bird Count under G.O.S. auspices, on December 11,
1956, recorded 41 species. The counts have continued since then without
interruption and now average about 85 species each year.
Evidence that there have been changes in the Rochester area avifauna
resides in the records of the society. At the May 11, 1939 meeting the
presence of a Cardinal in Highland Park evoked lively discussion. This
was a "life bird" for most of the members who saw it. By 1963
there were 204 Cardinals found during the Christmas Bird Count, and
in 1973 there were 415! other changes are attested by the society is
records such as the movement into the area, since the society's founding,
of such species as Cattle Egret, Great Black-backed Gull, Red-bellied
Woodpecker, Tufted Titmouse, Mockingbird, and Western Meadowlark. Thus
the field work of the society's members has aided significantly to our
knowledge of New York bird life.
During the early years meetings were held in members' homes. Programs,
for the most part, were talks by the members on self-chosen or assigned
topics such as field identification, reviews of' new bird books and
journal articles. occasionally outside speakers from Buffalo and nearby
localities were invited.
In January of 1940 dues of 10 cents per person per meeting were agreed
upon. (If you weren't there you didn't have to pay.) In other ways 1940
was a milestone for the G.O.S.; the first field checklist was printed
with the same format as in 1980; the first spring census yielded 157
species; and the Goshawk was chosen as the society's official emblem.
The Whistling Swan was almost chosen until it was pointed out that the
letters GOS are the first three of Goshawk.
The January 14, 1942 meeting was held in the Rochester Museum which
was then located in Edgerton Park, the city's exposition and exhibit
facilities on Emerson Street. But by April of that year the society
held its first meeting in the newly opened Bausch Hall of the Rochester
Museum of Science. It was at this meeting that Allan Klonick suggested
that the G.O.S. should publish a newsletter, and he was authorized to
proceed with the project. However, it was not until November 1947 that
the first issue of the Goshawk was published with Albert Sussewitz as
editor. Publication has continued monthly ever since with only occasional
In March 1946, under the aegis of the G.O.S., a meeting of representatives
of 13 bird clubs from around New York State was held at the Rochester
Museum of Science to discuss formation of a federation of the state's
bird clubs. The discussion bore fruit a year later with the formal organization
of the Federation of New York State Bird Clubs. In November 1948 the
G.O.S. was the host club, in collaboration with the Burroughs-Audubon
Nature Club, to the Federation's first annual meeting. Since then the
Federation has grown to include 40. bird clubs with over 10,000 members.
The G.O.S. was again host for the Federation's annual meeting in 1958,
1968, and 1978. In 1946 the G.O.S. became a section in the Rochester
Academy of Science.
The Society's long-time interest in conservation was concretely expressed
in June 1949 when it purchased one of the members favorite birding spots,
Reed Road Swamp, as a sanctuary. ownership is in the name of Bird Refuges,
Inc., an affiliate of the G.O.S. In the late 1970's, G.O.S. sanctuary
holdings were increased by the acquisition through gift of some 35 acres
of Island Cottage Woods.
Other indications of the growing development and maturity of the society
came with the institution of the Little Lakes CBC in 1950 under the
stimulation of Bort Cameron, initiation of the Rare Bird Alert system
in 1954, participation in the Federation's state-wide waterfowl count
in 1954, production of Getting Acquainted With Birds in Genesee Country
in 1960, and a major contribution of money and effort to the Nature
Conservatory drive to acquire Eldorado Beach on Lake Ontario in 1966-73.
By December 1972 membership in G.O.S. had risen to about 460, and now
in 1980 it is well over that figure.
In the late 1910's it was discovered by Walter Listman and others that
a hawk flyway passes from west to east over
Braddocks Bay on Lake Ontario in the spring. As the years went on the
"Hawk Lookout" on the southeast corner of the bay became a
prime birding place for Rochester birders. No systematic observations
were made until four years ago when Laurie and Neil Moon undertook daily
attendance and meticulous record keeping from late February through
June. The result of their work, with the assistance of a host of G.O.S.
and other observers, has been the recognition of this hawk flightway
as one of the most important ones in the eastern United States.
The culmination of over 35 years of work came in October 1980 with the
publication of a preliminary edition of an Annotated List of the Birds
of Monroe County. Compilation of the data was begun in the 1940's by
Ambrose Secker and Gordon Meade, was carried on by Neil and Laurie Moon,
Gerhard Leubner and William Muchmore, and put into form for publication
by a committee of Allan Klonick, Gerhard Leubner, Gordon Meade, and
Joseph Taylor with the latter as chairman. It is the plan to bring it
into final form during 1981 with inclusion of records through 1980.
While the persons named did the compilation and production, this achievement
would never have been possible without the field work of a host of Rochester
birders over many years and the arduous work of record keeping by the
Society's statistics committees.
Thus in 42 years the Genesee Ornithological Society has grown from a
group of ten eager young birders to a solid, productive society of over
400 persons that is making a significant contribution to the avocational
and scientific life of the community.
THE PHOTOGRAPHY SECTION
H. Lou Gibson
Rochester has been replete for many years with societies and camera
clubs devoted to scientific, technical, nature and pictorial photography.
Hence, to have inaugurated another photographic group in February 1943,
might seem to have been rash and superfluous. However, circumstances
made such a move feasible. Some of the members in other Academy sections
had expressed a desire to learn more about photography as it related
to their interests. Then, too, another source of potential members had
emerged. In that year the Medical Photography School at the Rochester
General Hospital was started by John J. Beiter, under the
Aegis of Dr. Milton G. Bohrod of the Department of Pathology. Martha
Brunings assisted. All three were charter members of the section. Students
were trained in biomedical
photography, in keeping with the growing needs of the profession and
the educational aims of the Biological Photographic Association (BPA).
Of practical necessity the applicational phases of the schools courses
dealt with the subject matter of the health sciences, whereas the activities
of the BPA also encompassed the natural sciences. Existing camera club
sessions pertained mainly to the pictorial aspects of nature photography.
So it was felt that the Photography Section logically could present
the photographic techniques and visual aid requirements of the natural
sciences. In this way the needs of Beiter's students in these respects
could be met. In addition, the programs of the section were planned
also to attract other specialized photographers, cinematographers and
photomicrographers in the Academy and from the region.
The following list of representative topics demonstrates the diversity
of the section's activities: close-up photography; optical factors in
photomacrography and photomicrography; time-lapse cinematography; the
photography of minerals; birds and small animals; the high-speed recording
of hummingbirds; entomological photography (including a documentation
of beekeeping); botanical recording (including photography in park management);
the uses of illumination in
Psychological studies; depicting the eclipse of the sun; principals
of lighting scientific subjects; the need for color accuracy; obtaining
graphic clarity; the psychological factors for effective communication.
A joint meeting with the Rochester Aquarium Society dealt with the
photography of live fishes in color. Experience in field photography
was gained during trips to the Rochester countryside and regional parks.
An interesting assignment also offered practical experience. A complex
mineral was circulated among section members, who had to photograph
it and pass it along. One meeting was devoted to a critique of the results.
The maker of the most informative record kept the mineral.
All sections have been encouraged to arrange programs for the general
Academy meetings. With so many photographic sessions regularly mounted
in Rochester, this was not easy for the Photography Section. Nevertheless,
a photographic discussion of a method for determining the spectral sensitivity
of the vision of several tropical fishes was presented. Another presentation,
given by H. Lou Gibson, illustrated the place of the Lepidoptera in
the Class, Insecta.
The section was consulted regarding photographic illustrations in the
Proceedings. Members contributed two papers. "Notes On he Equilfbrium
of Tropical Fishes and Their Perception of Color," by H. Lou Gibson
which appeared in Volume 9, No. 2, in 1948, and "Notes on Astronomical
Photography" by Paul W. Davis in Volume 10, Nos. 1 and 2, 1953.
During the 12 years of its existence, the section
gathered data and pictures relating to bird photography. The results
were published later in Volume 11, No. 1, that came out in 1964. Contributors
were J. F. Englert, Dr. Milton R. Goff, Dr. E. T. Wentworth, Helen and
Ralph Dakin and H. Lou Gibson.
Several factors were responsible for the termination of the Photography
Section in 1954. Much technical information was becoming available from
society, commercial and other publications sources. A chapter of the
Biological Photographic Association (BPA) had been formed in Rochester.
By 1953 the educational projects organized by the BPA got under way.
The efforts of most of the members of the Photography Section then became
channeled into the specific professional needs that led to the extensive
educational and certification programs of BPA committees.
Through the years of its activities, the section's membership had been
small. Attendance at meetings averaged around 12, although occasional
special programs drew about 30. Nevertheless, the impact of the section
helped significantly in steering the course of the important field of
SECTIONS THAT BECAME INACTIVE
by Reginald W. Hartwell
THE ENTOMOLOGY SECTION
On December 14, 1916, an Entomology Section was officially organized
with 22 active members who met on the second Thursday of each month.
George A. Franck was its chairman and George Wendt, the Academy treasurer,
was the recorder. He became chairman in 1920 and served in that
Capacity until 1929. Mrs. George Wendt was recorder from 1920 to 1926
and was succeeded by Melvin Andrews, who served until 1929. No minutes
or other records are preserved for those years and apparently the section
became inactive after 1929.
There is a set of minutes in the Academy archives that begins with
a January 7, 1937, report of a "second meeting" which elected
Richard L. Post chairman, Benjamin Ziegler vice-chairman, Mrs. W.L.G.
Edson recorder, John Schied treasurer and K. E. Brown vice-treasurer.
The minutes record in some detail subsequent meetings which were held
at Wards Natural Science Establishment. On June 13, 1938, 43 people
came to the meeting to hear a talk by a Dr. Fowler on "The Joys
and Whys of Collecting Beetles." The minutes state further that
members brought in specimens for study and that "insects unwary
enough to venture into the building, attracted by the illumination,
were captured during the meeting." Robert Yaeger became chairman
for 1938-39. There
was an average attendance of 25 during 1939. Meetings stopped after
A second reorganization took place at an April 6, 1946, meeting in the
University of Rochester Eastman Building on the Prince Street Campus.
Dr. Robert E. Bugbee, of the University of Rochester, was chairman and
Frank C. Fletcher was recorder. Elizabeth Keiper, garden editor of the
Rochester Time-Union, became recorder in September, 1946. Regular meetings
continued until the final meeting on March 23, 1948, when the attendance
totaled 4 members and 2 guests. Among the results of the cessation of
section activities was the transfer of the Academy entomological collection
to the State Museum of New York at Albany.
The last reorganization occurred in May of 1970 with Edwin Barnitz as
chairman. No records of those meetings have come to light but for a
number of subsequent months a very considerable amount of interest was
shown. Robert Iveson and John Staples of Wards Natural Science Establishment
and Dr. Gustav Garay of Monroe Community College were actively involved.
Attendance and interest gradually dwindled, however, and in late 1972
the section merged with the Botany Section, which thus became the Academy's
only hyphenated section, officially known now as Botany-Entomology.
THE WEATHER SCIENCE SECTION
An organization meeting of people interested in meteorology took place
on September 20, 1945. Emil Raab, meteorologist for the United States
Weather Bureaus Rochester station, was its first chairman. He proved
so popular that when he resigned two years later he was elected "permanent
honorary chairman." He was followed by John M. Williams, also a
meteorologist at the Weather Bureau. Minutes of the section's activities
have not become available, but it remained an important and active section
of the Academy for the next 18 years. Some of the meetings, as announced
in the Bulletin, included "A Visit to the Weather Station at the
Airport," "Studies in Micro-Climatology," "Weather
Map Making," "March Weather in Rochester(!!)," "Lightning--A
Roundtable Discussion," and "Farming and the Weather-"
Chairmen of the section included: Milroy Stewart, 1949-52; Hartley J.
Shutt, 1953-54; Al Stiller, 1954-55; Kenneth Lockwood, 1957-59 and Pliny
E. Goddard, 1960. The section became inactive in early 1962.
THE RESEARCH SECTION
A group that included a number of University of Rochester faculty members,
fearful of the Academy's precarious situation in the late 1930's when
membership was at its lowest ebb, and hoping to insure the continuation
Proceedings, which appeared to them in danger of folding, organized
themselves into a Research Section. Their purpose was to attract more
professional and "full time" scientists from the many highly
technical Rochester industries to join the Academy and become active
in its affairs. Dr. David R. Goddard of the University of Rochester
was its first chairman. He was succeeded by Dr. Richard Goodwin in 1942
and 1943. William S. Cornwell was the recorder for both years. Dr. Sherman
C. Bishop, Dr. Dean Gamble and Dr. Robert Roudabush were chosen as a
board of directors. An ambitious program of highly technical lectures
was organized, which included a series on the general subject of Macro-molecules.
There was a "Symposium On Chromosomes, Genes and Proteins,"
and a lecture by Dr. Henrik Dam, the discoverer of Vitamin K, on "The
Biological significance of Vitamin K." Apparently the desired effects
of those efforts was not achieved and the section became inactive in
PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY AND PSYCHOLOGY
There was a Physical Anthropology Section in 1948 and 1949. Chairmen
were Dr. Thomas Crowe, 1948, and Dr. Robert J. Bloor ' 1949. Recorders
were Walter E. Page, 1948, and William S. Cornwell, 1949. Apparently
competition with the Lewis Henry Morgan Chapter of the New York State
Archeological Association was too great and there are no more records
of the section's activities.
There was also a Psychology Section in 1920 and 1921. Chairman in 1920
was Dr. Louis A. Pechstein, Professor of Psychology at the University
of Rochester who had read a paper at an Academy meeting in October 1919,
on "Military Psychology." The 1921 chairman was W. Clark Trow
and the recorders were Esther A. Hurley, 1920, and Gertrude S. Hume,
1921. No further records are available.
CHAIRMEN OF ACADEMY SECTIONS
Paul Stevens, 1945-46, Mark Calkins, 1947-49; Ralph Dakin, 1949-50;
Neil Gallaalier, 1950-51; Edwin M. Root, 1951-52; Joel T. Johnson, 1952-54;
John E. Schlauch, 195455; Jack Smith, 1955-56; George Keene, 1956-57;
Russell E. Jenkins, 1957-58; Stephen C. Weber, 1958-60; Charles Spoelhof,
1960-61; George L. Gibbs, Jr., 1961-64; Bennett W. Cleveland, 1964-66;
Kenneth J. Brown, 1966-67; William N. Fitzgerald, 1967-69; John C. Cain,
1969-70; John J. Paris, 1970-71; Alfred V. Bowen, 1971-73; Richard E.
Albrecht, 1973-74; Andrew W. Steinbrecher, 1974-75; William L.
Hollingsworth, 1975-76; Allan M. Walters, 1976-77; Mrs. Trudie Brown,
1977-79; Mrs. Donna Groth, 1979-80; Jack Jones, 1980-81.
George T. Fish, 1881; Mrs. Mary E. Streeter, 1882-85; Miss Mary E.
Macauley, 1886-97; Miss Florence E. Beckwith, 1898-1929; Warren A. Matthews,
1930-31; Grace A. Carter, M.D., 1932-47; (Botany A) Grace A. Carter,
M.D., 1947-49; (Botany B) Dr. Kobert Erickson, 1947; Dr. John Russell,
1948-49; (Combined Botany Sections) Dr. Babette I. Brown, 1949-50; Bernard
Harkness, 1950-51; Mrs. Edward T. Boardman, 1951-52;. Warren A. Matthews,
1952-53; Miss Elva Scheely, 1953-54; Clair F. Smith, 1954-55; Fred Raetz,
1955-56; Floyd D. Slater, 1956-57; Harry McGillicuddy, 1957-58; Robert
C. McGillicuddy, 1958-59; Mrs. Elizabeth Slater, 1959-60; Donald Yaeger,
1960-61; Robert E. Stauffer, 1961-63; Dr. Edward T. Boardman, 1963-64;
Bernard Harkness, 1964-66; Mrs. Mildred R. Stauffer, 1966-67; Dr. N.
Joseph Klingensmith, 1967-69; Dr. Melvin J. Wentland, 1969-71; Mrs.
Elizabeth Y. Pixley, 1971-73; George B. Ahn III, 197375; Frank A. Myers,
1975-77; Mrs. Marion Schneider, 1977-81.
GEOLOGY: GEOLOGICAL-MINERALOGICAL (MINERAL) SECTION
Edwin E. Howell, 1889-90; George H. Chadwick, 1917, 1919-22; Florus
R. Baxter, 1918; Alfred C. Hawkins, 192325; F.W.C. Meyer, 1926-35; (reorganized
into the Mineralogical Section in 1935); Robert C. Vance, 1935-47; Charles
W. Foster, 1947-48; Henry B. Hanley, 1949-50; Leo J. Houlihan, 1950-51;
Ernest St. Mary Jr., 1951-52; Robert M. Eaton, 1952-53; Earle H. Potter,
1953-54; George M. Lynch, Jr., 1954-55; Donald Armistead, 1955-56; David
E. Jensen, 195657; Wendell Mohr, 1957-59; Robert M. Eaton, 1959-60;
Fred C. Amos, 1960-61; Richard Pospesel, 1961-63; Dr. Henry C. Staehle,
1963-65; Albert C. Smith, Jr., 1965-66; Henry E. Byers, 1966-69; Richard
G. Hoppe, 1969-72; Mrs. Katherine Jensen, 1972-74; William F. Coons,
1974-76; Alfred E. Vragel, 1976-78; William C. Lawrence, 1978-80; Richard
D. Hamell, 1980-81.
ORNITHOLOGY SECTION (GOS)
Dr. Gordon M. Meade, M.D. 1945-48; Fred Raetz, 194849; Dirck Benson,
1949-50; Allen E. Kemnitzer, 1950-52; Allan S. Klonick, 1952-54; Richard
T. O'Hara, 1954-55; William B. Muchmore, 1955-56; Gerhard W. Leubner,
1956-58; Gerald R. Rising, 1958-59; Alfred A. Starling, 1959-60, 1961-62;
John W. Foster, 1960-61; Stephen B. Oresman, 196264; Thomas E. Tetlow,
1964-65; Donald C. Nelson, 1965-66; Neil S. Moon, 1966-67; Mrs. Mary
Ann Sunderlin, 1967-70;
Joseph W. Taylor, 1970-71; Warren L. Lloyd, 1971-73; Paul W. Weld, 1973-75;
Paul Weld, Joseph Barra and Robert McKinney, 1975-76; Robert McKinney,
1976-78; Mrs. Anne Clarridge, 1978-80; William Colsman, 1980-81.
ROCHESTER ACADEMY OF SCIENCE
P.O. Box 1742
Rochester, New York 14603
Officers for 1980-81
President Corresponding Secretary
William F. Coons Mrs. Barbara Walters
Mrs. Marion Schneider Dr. Hugh H. Butler
Mrs. Evelyn Wishart
Robert H. Plass (1981) Alfred E. Vragel (1981)
William C. Colsman (1982) James S. Wishart (1982)
Raymond F. Newell, Jr. (1983) Mrs. Mary Ann Sunderlin (1983)
(Also Members Board of Directors)
John E. Jones David C. Collins
Mrs. Marion Schneider William C. Lawrence
William C. Colsman (1980)
Dr. Oivind E. Jensen (1981)