JOSEPH LEIDY - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 01/17/1885 - HFSID 35541
JOSEPH LEIDY He signs a handwritten letter with detailed instructions on how to handle tapeworm specimens. Autograph Letter signed: "Joseph Leidy", 2 pages (front and verso), 5x8 lined paper. Philadelphia, 1885 January 17. To "Dear Dr.
Sale Price $637.50
He signs a handwritten letter with detailed instructions on how to handle tapeworm specimens.
Autograph Letter signed: "Joseph Leidy", 2 pages (front and verso), 5x8 lined paper. Philadelphia, 1885 January 17. To "Dear Dr. Warren", in full: "I found the specimen, sent through Dr. Allen, at the University; the parasite of the Pleated Woodpecker. It is the spinoptera gradvilolia, previously described from European species of Picus, but especially interesting, because your collection contains four males, before unknown; and important; in the most marked character are found in the male. I have also found four other of your specimens, all Tape worms, the vials numbered on the bottom 1-4, but the record mislaid is lost. The specimens 3, 4 are decomposed. Tapes are difficult of presentation, and if you and if you feel inclined to take the trouble of collecting them do so by placing the materials in a container of water and then carefully frisk out the Tapes with forecepes and transfer to vial with 2/3 alcohol 1/3 water. With kind regards etc". Joseph Leidy (1823-1891) was a paleontologist who taught anatomy at the University of Pennsylvania and natural history at Swarthmore. He named the first nearly intact dinosaur specimen found in North America (a hadrosaur). An early supporter of Charles Darwin, he published several influential works of natural history. As this signed document seems to indicate, he was also a pioneer parasitologist. Leidy was also a forerunner of forensic criminology. In 1846 he became the first to solve a murder by use of a microscope, proving that blood on a suspects clothing and hatchet could not be chicken blood, as the suspect claimed. A collector of gems as well as fossils, Leidy donated his collection to the Smithsonian. A recent biography of this unfairly neglected science pioneer is titled Joseph Leidy: the Last Man Who Knew Everything. Fold creases, not near signature. Fine condition.
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