HALL OF THE ACADEMY OF NATURAL SCIENCE, PHILADELPHIA.

image98615


Hall of the Academy of Natural Science, Philadelphia.

Engraving, chine-colle, 1830.
Image size 3 7/8 x 5 15/16" (9.9 x 15 cm).
Good condition with modern handcolor.
LOCATION: New York City

Inventory Number: 98615
Price: $90.00
Publisher : London, Published Dec. 1, 1830 by Simpkin & Marshal & I.T. Hinton.
Engraved by C. Burton. Engraved & printed by Fenner Sears & co.

Now part of Drexel University, the Academy was founded in 1812, nearly eighty years before the University was founded, "for the encouragement and cultivation of the sciences, and the advancement of useful learning." The facility was an important center for research and education in the 19th century, and was America's very first natural science institution. They financed expeditions and amassed significant scientific collections, which were put on public display. Some of its famous members include John James Audubon, John Cassin, Titian Peale and Charles Pickering.

The Academy is perhaps most famous (or infamous) for its part in the field of Paleontology. Joseph Leidy was one of their most famous members in the field, but he inevitably quit because of a fellow named O.C. Marsh, the originator of the "bone wars." Marsh's desperate and violent attempts to control the new field of study led to Leidy and the Academy's name being dragged through the mud. Through the efforts of their paleontologists, however, the Academy laid claim the first public dinosaur exhibit in 1868 with the bone of Hadrosaurus foulkii (a species of duckbill dinosaur).

The Academy's collection was quite extensive and grew rather quickly during the 19th century. So quickly, in fact, they were forced to change facilities multiple times before settling into their current location in 1876. Pictured in this engraving is one of their early addresses.
18th-19th Century Subjects , Town Views - United States , Pennsylvania - Philadelphia