Monthly Archives: November 2018

New York Aquarium Director, Charles Haskins Townsend Records

Charles Haskins Townsend

We are excited to share that the Charles Townsend records have been processed and a finding aid can be viewed online!

Charles Haskins Townsend was the first director of the New York Aquarium (NYA) under New York Zoological Society management in 1902 and remained in the position until 1937. He found a love for nature early in life, stating in an autobiographical article that “I was too fully occupied with the natural world to consider the supernatural,” in regards to not following his family’s tradition to join the clergy.

Prior to coming to NYA, Townsend worked for the United States Fish Commission and was part of two scientific expeditions. In 1885 Townsend went on his first expedition aboard the U.S.S. Corwin to the Arctic. The following year in 1886 he joined as the naturalist for an expedition on the U.S.S. Albatross, which spent ten years traveling to the Bahamas and the Canadian Maritime Provinces before voyaging to the Pacific, making stops around the Galapagos Islands, islands off the California coast, up the Pacific Northwest, and Alaska. Townsend’s records feature photos taken during these expeditions, including images of the locations they visited and the wildlife they saw there. Continue reading

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National Bison Day [Instagram]

Happy National Bison Day!  In 1905, leaders of WCS helped to form the American Bison Society.  Their work prevented the extinction of this iconic species by establishing several small herds — sometimes with animals from the Bronx Zoo — in widely separated preserves across the country.  Shown here are bison sent from the Bronx Zoo to Oklahoma’s Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in 1907.  National Bison Day, which is celebrated on the first Saturday in November, commemorates the ecological, cultural, historical, and economic contribution of the American bison to the US.

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