Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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Paul Popenoe
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/20/20

Paul B. Popenoe in 1915

Paul Bowman Popenoe (October 16, 1888 – June 19, 1979) was an American agricultural explorer and eugenicist. He was an influential advocate of the compulsory sterilization of the mentally ill and the mentally disabled, and the father of marriage counseling in the United States.


Born Paul Bowman Popenoe in Topeka, Kansas in 1888, he was the son of Marion Bowman Popenoe and Frederick Oliver Popenoe, a pioneer of the avocado industry. (Popenoe dropped his middle name early in life.) He moved to California as a teen. After attending Occidental College for two years and Stanford University for his Junior year (Majoring in English with coursework in biology), Popenoe left school to care for his father and worked for several years as a newspaper editor. He then worked briefly as an agricultural explorer collecting date specimens in Western Asia and Northern Africa for his father's nursery in California, along with his younger brother Wilson Popenoe, a horticulturist. These travels received considerable support and interest from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.[1] Paul Popenoe published his first book Date Growing in the Old World and the New in 1913.

In the mid-1910s Popenoe became interested in human breeding, editing the Journal of Heredity from 1913 until 1917, with a special attention to eugenics and social hygiene.

By 1918, Popenoe had become well-established enough to co-author (with Roswell Hill Johnson) a popular college textbook on eugenics (Applied Eugenics, edited by Richard T. Ely), which outlined his vision of a eugenics program that primarily relied on the segregation of "waste humanity" into rural institutions where they would perform manual labor to offset the cost of their institutionalization. He was opposed to child labor on the belief that banning such labor would reduce the size of families he regarded as unfit members of society.[2] Additionally, Applied Eugenics contains a chapter expounding on Popenoe's belief in the racial inferiority of black people.

“ An elementary knowledge of the history of Africa, or the more recent and much-quoted example of Haiti, is sufficient to prove that the Negro's own social heritage is at a level far below that of the whites among whom he is living in the United States.... The Negro race is germinally lacking in the higher developments of intelligence.[3] ”

During World War I Popenoe was inducted into the officer corps of the United States Army. Under the War Department Commission on Training Camp Activities, he was charged with rooting out liquor and prostitution in an effort to reduce the high incidence of venereal disease amongst U.S. troops.[4]

Paul Popenoe married Betty Stankowitch in New York on 23 August 1920. They remained married until her death on 26 June 1978.

In the mid-1920s, Popenoe began working with E.S. Gosney, a wealthy California financier, and the Human Betterment Foundation to promote eugenic policies in the state of California. In 1909, California had enacted its first compulsory sterilization law which allowed for sterilization of the mentally ill and mentally retarded in its state psychiatric hospitals. With Popenoe as his scientific workhorse, Gosney intended to study the sterilization work being done in California and use it to advocate sterilization in other parts of the country and in the world at large. This would culminate in a number of works, most prominently their joint-authored Sterilization for Human Betterment: A Summary of Results of 6,000 Operations in California, 1909-1929 in 1929. This work would become a popular text for the advocacy of sterilization, as it purported to be an objective study of the operations in the state and concluded, not surprisingly, that rigorous programs for the sterilization of the "unfit" were beneficial to all involved, including the sterilized patients. During the 1930s he served as a member of the American Eugenics Society's board of directors along with Charles B. Davenport, Henry H. Goddard, Madison Grant, Harry H. Laughlin, and Gosney, among others.

In 1929 he received an honorary Sc.D. degree from Occidental College, which he previously attended. Thenceforth, he commonly referred to himself as "Dr. Popenoe". In 1976, Popenoe also received the Auld Lang Syne award from Occidental. Nevertheless, in 2019 after a unanimous vote of its board of trustees on April 26 of that year, Occidental rescinded the honorary Sc.D. degree.[5] Leading up to this vote, Occidental professor Peter Dreier wrote an opinion article in March 2019 about the college's historical role in eugenics and racism, after which 86 percent of the college's faculty signed a statement urging the board to revoke the degree granted to Popenoe 90 years earlier.[6]

Along with his advocacy of sterilization programs, Popenoe was also interested in using the principles of German and Austrian marriage-consultation services for eugenic purposes. Aghast at the divorce rate in US society, Popenoe came to the conclusion that "unfit" families would reproduce out of wedlock, but truly "fit" families would need to be married to reproduce. With financial help from Gosney, he opened the American Institute of Family Relations in Los Angeles in 1930. The Institute was described in 1960 as "the world's largest and best known marriage-counseling center" with a staff of seventy.[7]

“ One of the greatest dangers in the use of sterilization is that overzealous persons who have not thought through the subject will look at it as a cure-all, and apply it to all sorts of ends for which it is not adapted. It is only one of many measures the state can and must use to protect itself from [the human race's] deterioration.[8] ”

For a while, Popenoe's two major interests, eugenics and marriage counseling, ran parallel, and he published extensively on both topics. As public interest in eugenics waned, Popenoe focused more of his energies into marriage counseling, and by the time of the public rejection of eugenics at the end of World War II, with the revelation of the Nazi Holocaust atrocities, Popenoe had thoroughly redefined himself as primarily a marriage counselor (which by that time had lost most of its explicit eugenic overtones). Over time he became more prominent in the field of counseling.

Popenoe favored a popular—rather than academic—approach. In this vein, he appeared on the Art Linkletter television show for over a decade, and he regularly gave lectures and wrote mainstream articles for the general public. For many years he had a nationally syndicated newspaper column promoting marriage and family life. As presented in a 1960 biography, the focus areas of his counseling approach (and the American Institute of Family Relations) included couples' attitudes towards marriage, preparation (including sexuality education), moral values, a focus on action, and mutual understanding between the sexes.[7]

At the peak of his career, he co-founded and edited Ladies' Home Journal's most popular column of all time, "Can This Marriage Be Saved?" In 1960, he co-authored (with Dorothy Disney) the book of the same name. His introduction to the book catalogued some of the statistics of the American Institute of Family Relations over its first 30 years. Under his direction, the Institute gave intensive training to over 300 marriage counselors and shorter courses around the U.S. to over 1500 other people. The case load at that time averaged about 15,000 consultations per year. From the files of these numerous cases came the material for the "Can This Marriage Be Saved?" book and serial. The Institute published a bulletin entitled "Family Life" monthly or bimonthly for decades.[9]

“ [W]aste humanity taking waste land and thus not only contributing toward their own support, but also making over land that would otherwise be useless.[3] ”

Given the role of clergy in responding to crisis in families, Popenoe increased focus in training the clergy over many years. This culminated in 1978 with the American Institute of Family Relations creating the Pastoral Psychotherapy Training Program, which offered the Master of Arts in Pastoral Psychotherapy. This was the second offering of a master's degree by the Institute.[10]

As Popenoe maintained his traditional values (e.g., chastity before marriage), changes in popular culture such as feminism and sexual revolution challenged his approach. At the same time, thought leaders in the helping professions tended more and more to favor self-fulfillment over preservation of the family. This led Popenoe to ally increasingly with religious conservatives—even though he was not religious himself. For example, one of his assistants was James Dobson, who founded Focus on the Family in 1977. In contemporary US society of the third millennium, the approach Popenoe developed to marriage counseling—educational and directive rather than medical or psychological—is coming back into fashion.[4] In the end, the American Institute of Family Relations turned out to be highly dependent on Popenoe's leadership. It closed in the 1980s, not long after Paul Popenoe's death.

Popenoe died 19 June 1979 in Miami, Florida.


Shortly before his death, Popenoe transferred his papers to the University of Wyoming. In 2002, the American Heritage Center of the University of Wyoming reported the collection Paul Bowman Popenoe Papers, 1874-1991, consisting of 85 cubic feet of material.[11] The archives of the Human Betterment Foundation are in Special Collections at Caltech in Pasadena.


• Popenoe, Paul (1913). Date Growing in the Old World and the New. Altadena, CA: West India Gardens.
• Popenoe, Paul (1917). "The blind cave fish". Journal of Heredity. 8: 448–451.
• Popenoe, Paul; Johnson, Roswell Hill (1918). Applied Eugenics (First ed.). New York, NY, US: The Macmillan Company.
• Popenoe, Paul (February 1922). "Costa Rica, the Land of the Banana". The National Geographic Magazine. 41 (2): 201–220.
• Popenoe, Paul (1925). Modern marriage: A handbook. New York, NY.
• Popenoe, Paul (1926). Problems of Human Reproduction. Baltimore, Maryland, US: The Williams & Wilkins Company.
• Popenoe, Paul (1927). "Marriage rate among nurses". Eugenical News. 12 (1): 8.
• Popenoe, Paul (1927). "Back to Methuselah?". Scientific Monthly. 25: 535–539.
• Popenoe, Paul (1940) [1925]. Modern Marriage (Second ed.). New York, New York, US: The Macmillan Company.
• Popenoe, Paul (1929). The Child's Heredity (First ed.). Baltimore, Maryland, US: The Williams & Wilkins Company.
• Gosney, E.S.; Popenoe, Paul (1929). Sterilization for Human Betterment: A Summary of Results of 6,000 Operations in California, 1909-1929. New York, New York, US: The Macmillan Company.
• Popenoe, Paul (1930). Practical applications of heredity. Baltimore, MD.
• Popenoe, Paul (1931). "Heredity and mental deficiency". Mental Hygiene. 15 (3): 570–575.
• Popenoe, Paul (1934). "The German Sterilization Law". Journal of Heredity. 25: 257–261.
• Popenoe, Paul; Gosney, E.S. (1938). Twenty-eight years of sterilization in California. Pasadena, CA: Human Betterment Foundation.
• Popenoe, Paul (1954). Sex - Happiness or Tragedy?. California, US: Samuel Newman Productions.
• Popenoe, Paul (1959). Bayless, Kenneth M. (ed.). Divorce--17 Ways to Avoid It. Martin, William H. Los Angeles, California, US: Trend Books, Incorporated. Trend Book No. 184.
• Duvall, Evelyn Millis; Mace, David R.; Popenoe, Paul (1964). The Church Looks at Family Life (First ed.). Nashville, Tennessee, US: Broadman Press. pp. 114–167. Library of Congress number: 64-21162.
• Ladd-Taylor, Molly (2001). "Eugenics, Sterilisation and Modern Marriage in the USA: The Strange Career of Paul Popenoe": 298–327.
• "Springing Into Action". Occidental magazine. June 5, 2019.
• Dreier, Peter (June 23, 2019). "Why Occidental College Revoked a 1929 Honorary Degree to White Supremacist Paul Popenoe". Public Seminar.

See also

• Eugenics in the United States
• Compulsory sterilization
• Relationship counseling


1. Wilson, Robert Forrest (November 1921). ""Uncle Sam's" Adventures". St. Nicholas, The Century Co., New York. 49 (1): 59–66.
2. "...the unfit poor would be unable to put their children to work and thus would have fewer children, a eugenic goal."Thomas C. Leonard, "Eugenics and Economics in the Progressive Era". Journal of Economic Perspectives, Volume 19, No. 4, Fall 2005, pp. 207–224
3. Popenoe, P.; Johnson, R H (1918). "Chapter XIV: The Color Line". Applied Eugenics. New York, New York, US: The Macmillan Company.
4. David Popenoe, War Over the Family, Transaction Publishers, 2005. ISBN 0-7658-0259-7. Chapter 14: Remembering My Father: An Intellectual Portrait of "The Man Who Saved Marriages".
5. "Springing Into Action". Occidental magazine. June 5, 2019.
6. Dreier, Peter (June 23, 2019). "Why Occidental College Revoked a 1929 Honorary Degree to White Supremacist Paul Popenoe". Public Seminar.
7. Hoffman, Betty (September 1960). "The Man Who Saves Marriages". Ladies' Home Journal: 71, 120, 123–124.
8. Gosney, E.S.; Popenoe, Paul (1929). "Chapter 7: Voluntary Sterilization". Sterilization for Human Betterment: A Summary of Results of 6,000 Operations in California, 1909-1929. New York, New York, US: The Macmillan Company. p. 59. "Troublesome Delinquents" section
9. Popenoe, Paul; Disney, Dorothy Cameron (1960). Can This Marriage Be Saved? (First ed.). New York: The Macmillan Company. Library of Congress number: 60-8124.
10. Peacock, Edward (September–October 1979). "Goodbye, Mr. and Mrs. Marriage". Family Life: Bi-monthly service bulletin of the American Institute of Family Relations: 2–8.
11. American Heritage Center Annual Report. Laramie, WY 82071: American Heritage Center – University of Wyoming. 2002. p. 12.

Further reading

• Anton, Mike, "Forced Sterilization Once Seen as Path to a Better World" Los Angeles Times (16 July 2003).
• Kline, Wendy, Building a Better Race: Gender, Sexuality, and Eugenics from the Turn of the Century to the Baby Boom (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001).
• Ladd-Taylor, Molly, "Eugenics, Sterilisation, and Modern Marriage in the USA: The Strange Career of Paul Popenoe," in Gender and History, vol. 13, no. 2 (August 2001), 298-327.
• Spiro, Jonathan P. (2009). Defending the Master Race: Conservation, Eugenics, and the Legacy of Madison Grant. Univ. of Vermont Press. ISBN 978-1-58465-715-6. Lay summary (September 29, 2010).

External links

• Inventory of the Paul Bowman Popenoe papers, 1874-1991 at the University of Wyoming
• Works by Paul Popenoe at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Paul Popenoe at Internet Archive
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:19 am

Part 1 of 2

Vannevar Bush
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/29/20

The Carnegie Institution continued to back eugenics long after its executives became convinced it was a worthless nonscience based on shabby data, and years after they concluded that Harry Hamilton Laughlin himself was a sham.

Laughlin and eugenics in general had become the butt of jokes and the object of reprehension as far back as 1912, when the world learned that its proponents planned to sterilize millions in America and millions more in other nations. Scientists from other disciplines ridiculed the movement as well. Despite the widespread derision, eugenics persevered as a science under siege, battling back for years, fortified by its influential patrons, the power of prejudice and the big money of Carnegie. But the Carnegie Institution's patience began to erode as early as 1922, when Laughlin became a public font of racist ideology during the Congressional immigration restriction hearings. [9]

Carnegie president John C. Merriam continued to be embarrassed by Laughlin's immigration rantings throughout the 1920s. But he tolerated them for the greater agenda of the eugenics movement. However, Laughlin struck a particular nerve in the spring of 1928, while Merriam and a U.S. government official were touring Mexican archaeology sites. During the tour, Mexican newspapers splashed a story that Merriam's Carnegie Institution was proposing that Congress severely limit immigration of Mexicans into the United States. It was Laughlin who prompted the story. [10]

Merriam immediately instructed Davenport to muzzle Laughlin. "He [Merriam] feels especially that you ought not go further," Davenport wrote Laughlin, "... helping the [House] committee on a definition of who may be acceptable as immigrants to the United States from Spanish America. The Spanish Americans are very sensitive on this matter .... It will not do for the Carnegie Institution of Washington, or its officers, to take sides in this political question."
Anticipating Laughlin's predictable argument, Davenport continued, "I know you regard it properly as more than a political question and as a eugenical question -- but it is in politics now, and that means that the institution has to preserve a neutrality." [11]

Yet Laughlin did nothing to restrict his vocal activities. By the end of 1928, Merriam convened an internal committee to review the value of the Eugenics Record Office. In early February of 1929, the committee inspected the Cold Spring Harbor facility and concluded that the accumulation of index cards, trait records and family trees amounted to little more than clutter. They "are of value only to the individual compiling them," the committee wrote, and even then "in most cases they decrease in importance in direct proportion to their age." Some of the files were almost two decades old, and all of them reflected nineteenth-century record-keeping habits now obsolete. The mass of records yielded much private information about individuals and their families, but little hard knowledge on heredity. [12]

Nonetheless, with Davenport and Laughlin lobbying to continue their work, the panel rejected any "radical move, such as relegating them [the files] to dead storage." Instead, Carnegie officials decided a closer affiliation with the Eugenics Research Association [The ERA was affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (fittingly through Section F: "The Zoological Sciences") and had two seats on the Council of the AAAS.] would help the ERO achieve some approximation of genuine science. Hence the Carnegie Institution would continue to operate the ERO under Carnegie's Department of Genetics. [13]

Genetics, however, was not the emphasis at Cold Spring Harbor. Laughlin and his ERO continued their race-based political agitation unabated. Moreover, once Hitler rose to power in 1933, Laughlin forged the ERO, the ERA and Eugenical News into a triumvirate of pro-Nazi agitation.
But things changed when Davenport retired in June of 1934. Laughlin lost his greatest internal sponsor, and with Davenport out of power, Carnegie officials in Washington quickly began to move against Laughlin. They pointedly questioned his race science and indeed the whole concept of eugenics in a world where the genuine science of genetics was now emerging.

Carnegie officials first focused on Eugenical News, which had become a compendium of American raceology and Nazi propaganda. Although Eugenical News was published out of the Carnegie facilities at the ERO, by a Carnegie scientist, and functioned as the official voice of Carnegie's eugenic operations, the Carnegie Institution did not legally own or control Eugenical News. It was Laughlin's enterprise. Carnegie wanted an immediate change and made this clear to Laughlin. [14]

Laughlin became very protective. He had always chosen what would and would not run in Eugenical News, and he even authored much of the text. In a September 11, 1934, letter to Davenport's replacement, Albert F. Blakeslee, Laughlin rebuffed attempts to corral Eugenical News, defensively insisting, "In this formative period of making eugenics into a science, the ideals of the Eugenics Record Office, of the Eugenics Research Association, of the International Congresses and Exhibits of Eugenics, and of the Eugenical News are identical. I feel that the position of the Eugenical News as a scientific journal is quite unique, in that eugenics is a new science, and that the trend and rate of its development, and its ultimate character, will be influenced substantially by the Eugenical News." [15]

Laughlin made clear to Carnegie officials that they simply could not control Eugenical News, because it was legally the property of the Eugenics Research Association -- and Laughlin was the secretary of the ERA. To drive home his point, a Laughlin memo defiantly included typed-in excerpts from committee reports and letters to the printer, plus sample issues going back to 1916 -- all demonstrating the ERA's legal authority over Eugenical News. "I feel that the Institution should go into the matter thoroughly," insisted Laughlin, "and make a clean-cut and definite ruling concerning the relationship of the Carnegie Institution (represented by the Eugenics Record Office) to the Eugenical News." [16]

By now, Carnegie felt it was again time to formally revisit the worth of Laughlin and eugenics. A new advisory committee was assembled, spearheaded by archaeologist A.V. [Alfred Vincent] Kidder. He began assembling information on Laughlin's activities
, and Laughlin was only too happy to cooperate, almost boastfully inundating Kidder with folder after folder of material. With Davenport in retirement, Laughlin undoubtedly felt he was heir to Cold Spring Harbor's throne. He sent Washington a passel of demands about revamping Cold Spring Harbor's administrative structure, renovations of its property and new budget requests for 1935. [17]

Kidder was not encouraging. He wrote back, "I think I ought to tell you that I feel quite certain that the administrative and financial changes which you advocate are extremely unlikely, in my opinion, to be carried into effect in 1935." Kidder was virtually besieged with Laughlin's written and printed submissions to support his requests for a sweeping expansion of the ERO. On November 1, 1934, Kidder acknowledged, "I am at present reviewing all the correspondence and notes in my possession relative to the whole Cold Spring Harbor situation and in the course of a few days I shall prepare a memorandum for Dr. Merriam." But within two days, Kidder conceded that he was overwhelmed. "I have read all the material you sent me with close attention," he wrote Laughlin. "I have also read all the Year Book reports of the Eugenics Record Office .... I am now trying to correlate all this information in what passes for my brain." [18]

On Sunday, June 16 and Monday, June 17, 1935, the advisory committee led by Kidder visited Cold Spring Harbor, touring both the ERO and the adjacent Carnegie Station for Experimental Evolution. Laughlin's residence, provided by the Carnegie Institution, was one of the buildings in the compound, and Mrs. Laughlin graciously prepared Sunday lunch and Monday dinner for the delegation. The men found her hospitality delightful, and Laughlin's presentations exhaustive. But after a thorough examination, the advisory committee concluded that the Eugenics Record Office was a worthless endeavor from top to bottom, yielding no real data, and that eugenics itself was not science but rather a social propaganda campaign with no discernible value to the science of either genetics or human heredity. [19]

Almost a million ERO records assembled on individuals and families were "unsatisfactory for the scientific study of human genetics," the advisory committee explained, "because so large a percentage of the questions concern ... traits, such as 'self-respect,' 'holding a grudge,' 'loyalty,' [and] 'sense of humor,' which can seldom truly be known to anyone outside an individual's close associates; and which will hardly ever be honestly recorded, even were they measurable, by an associate or by the individual concerned." [20]

While much ERO attention was devoted to meaningless personality traits, key physical traits were being recorded so sloppily by "untrained persons" and "casually interested individuals" that the advisory committee concluded this data was also "relatively worthless for genetic study." The bottom line: a million index cards, some 35,000 files, and innumerable other records merely occupied "a great amount of the small space available ... and, worst of all, they do not appear to us really to permit satisfactory use of the data." [21]

The advisory committee recommended that all genealogical and eugenic tracking activities cease, and that the cards be placed in storage until whatever bits of legitimate heredity data they contained could be properly extracted and analyzed using an IBM punch card system. A million index cards had accumulated during some two decades, but because of the project's starting date in 1910 and Laughlin's unscientific methodology, the data had never been analyzed by IBM's data processing system. This fact only solidified the advisory committee's conclusion that the Eugenics Record Office was engaged in mere biological gossip backed up by reams of worthless documents. The advisory committee doubted that the demographic muddle would "ever be of value," and added its hope that "never again ... should records be allowed to bank up to such an extent that they cannot be kept currently analyzed."[22]

The advisory committee vigorously urged that "The Eugenics Record Office should engage in no new undertaking; and that all current activities should be discontinued save for Dr. Laughlin's work in preparation of his final report upon the Race Horse investigation." Moreover, the advisory committee emphasized, "The Eugenics Record Office should devote its entire energies to pure research divorced from all forms of propaganda and the urging or sponsoring of programs for social reform or race betterment such as sterilization, birth-control, inculcation of race or national consciousness, restriction of immigration, etc. Hence it might be well for the personnel of the Office to discontinue connection with the Eugenical News." Committee members concluded, "Eugenics is by generally accepted definition and understanding not a science." They insisted that any further involvement with Cold Spring Harbor be devoid of the word eugenics and instead gravitate to the word genetics.

Geneticist L. C. Dunn, a member of the advisory committee traveling in Europe at the time, added his opinion in a July 3, 1935, letter, openly copied to Laughlin. Dunn was part of a growing school of geneticists demanding a clean break between eugenics and genetics. "With genetics," advised Dunn, "its relations have always been close, although there have been distinct signs of cleavage in recent years, chiefly due to the feeling on the part of many geneticists that eugenical research was not always activated by purely disinterested scientific motives, but was influenced by social and political considerations tending to bring about too rapid application of incompletely proved theses. In the United States its [the eugenics movement's] relations with medicine have never been close, the applications having more often been made through sociology than through medicine, although the basic problems involved are biological and medical ones." [24]

Dunn wondered if it wasn't time to shut down Cold Spring Harbor altogether and move the operation to a university where such an operation could collaborate with other disciplines.
"There would seem to me to be no peculiar advantages in the Cold Spring Harbor location." As it stood, '''Eugenics' has come to mean an effort to foster a program of social improvement rather than an effort to discover facts." In that regard, Dunn made a clear comparison to Nazi excesses. "I have just observed in Germany," he wrote, "some of the consequences of reversing the order as between program and discovery. The incomplete knowledge of today, much of it based on a theory of the state, which has been influenced by the racial, class and religious prejudices of the group in power, has been embalmed in law, and the avenues to improvement in the techniques of improving the population have been completely closed." [25]

Dunn's July 3 letter continued with even more pointed comparisons to Nazi Germany. "The genealogical record offices have become powerful agencies of the [German] state," he wrote, "and medical judgments even when possible, appear to be subservient to political purposes. Apart from the injustices in individual cases, and the loss of personal liberty, the solution of the whole eugenic problem by fiat eliminates any rational solution by free competition of ideas and evidence. Scientific progress in general seems to have a very dark future. Although much of this is due to the dictatorship, it seems to illustrate the dangers which all programs run which are not continually responsive to new knowledge, and should certainly strengthen the resolve which we generally have in the U.S. to keep all agencies which contribute to such questions as free as possible from commitment to fixed programs." [26]

Carnegie's advisory committee could not have been more clear: eugenics was a dangerous sham, the ERO was a worthless and expensive undertaking devoid of scientific value, and Laughlin was purely political. But as Hitler rose and the situation of the Jews in Europe worsened, and the plight of refugees seeking entry into the United States became ever more desperate, the Carnegie Institution elected to ignore its own findings about Cold Spring Harbor and continue its economic and political support for Laughlin and his enterprises. Shortly after Merriam reviewed the advisory committee's conclusions, the Reich passed the Nuremberg Laws in September of 1935. Those of Jewish ancestry were stripped of their civil rights. Laughlin, Eugenical News and the Cold Spring Harbor eugenics establishment propagandized that the laws were merely sound science. Eugenical News even gave senior Nazi leaders a platform to justify their decrees. The Carnegie Institution still took no action against its Cold Spring Harbor enterprise.

In 1936, the brutal Nazi concentration camps multiplied. Systematic Jewish pauperization accelerated. Jews continued fleeing Germany in terror, seeking entry anywhere. But American consulates refused them visas. In the face of the humanitarian crisis, Laughlin continued to advise the State Department and Congress to enforce stiff eugenic immigration barriers against Jews and other desperate refugees. The Carnegie Institution still took no action against its Cold Spring Harbor enterprise. [27]

In 1937, Nazi street violence escalated and Germany increasingly vowed to extend its master race to all of Europe -- and to completely cleanse the continent of Jews. Laughlin, Eugenical News and the eugenics establishment continued to agitate in support of the Reich's goals and methods, and even distributed the anti-Semitic Nazi film, Erbkrank. The Carnegie Institution still took no action against its Cold Spring Harbor enterprise. [28]

One of hard propaganda Nazi films produced by the Office of Racial Policy in the National Socialist Racial and Political Office meant to warn the greater public about the dangers and costs posed by mentally ill and mentally retarded people.

"Erbkrank” [The Hereditary Defective] was directed by Herbert Gerdes. It was one of six propagandistic movies produced by the NSDAP, Reichsleitung, Rassenpolitisches Amt or the Office of Racial Policy, from 1935 to 1937 to demonize people in Nazi Germany diagnosed with mental illness and mental retardation.

The goal was to gain public support for the T4 Euthanasia Program then in the works. This film, as the others, was made with actual footage of patients in Nazi German psychiatric institutions.

Adolf Hitler reportedly liked the film so much that he encouraged the production of the full-length film "Opfer der Vergangenheit: Die Sünde wider Blut und Rasse” (English: Victims of the Past: The Sin against Blood and Race).
In 1937, Erbkrank was reportedly showing in nearly all Berlin film theaters.

-- Erbkrank (1936), by Tiergartenstrasse 4 Association

In 1938, as hundreds of thousands of new refugees appeared, an emergency intergovernmental conference was convened at Evian, France. It was fruitless. Germany then decreed that all Jewish property was to be registered, a prelude to comprehensive liquidation and seizure. In November, Kristallnacht shocked the world. Nazi agitation was now spreading into every country in Europe. Austria had been absorbed into the Reich. Hitler threatened to devour other neighboring countries as well. Laughlin, Eugenical News and the eugenics establishment still applauded the Hitler campaign. By the end of 1938, however, the Carnegie Institution realized it could not delay action much longer. [29]

On January 4, 1939, newly installed Carnegie president Vannevar Bush put Laughlin on notice that while his salary for the year was assured, Bush was not sure how much funding the ERO would receive -- if any. At the same time, Jews from across Europe continued to flee the Continent, many begging to enter America because no other nation would take them. In March of 1939, the Senate Immigration Committee asked Bush if Laughlin could appear for another round of testimony to support restrictive "remedial legislation." Bush permitted Laughlin to appear, and only asked him to limit his unsupportable scientific assertions. But Laughlin was not prohibited from again promoting eugenic and racial barriers as the best basis for immigration policy. Indeed, the Carnegie president reminded him, "One has to express opinions when he appears in this sort of inquiry, and I believe that yours will be found to be a conservative and well-founded estimate of the situation facing the Committee." Bush added that he had personally reviewed Laughlin's prior testimony and felt it was "certainly well handled and valuable." [30]

After testifying, Laughlin received a postcard at the Carnegie Institution in Washington from an irate citizen in Los Angeles. "As an American descendant of Americans for over 300 years, I'd like to learn what prompted you to supply [the Senate Immigration Committee] ... with so much material straight from Hitler's original edition of Mein Kampf." [31]

At about this time, Laughlin was also permitted to testify before the Special Committee on Immigration and Naturalization of the New York State Chamber of Commerce. In May of 1939, Laughlin's report, Immigration and Conquest, was published under the imprimatur of the New York State Chamber of Commerce and "Harry H. Laughlin, Carnegie Institution of Washington." The 267-page document, filled with raceological tenets, claimed that America would soon suffer "conquest by settlement and reproduction" through an infestation of defective immigrants. As a prime illustration, Laughlin offered "The Parallel Case of the House Rat," in which he traced rodent infestation from Europe to the rats' ability "to travel in sailing ships." [32]

Laughlin then explained, in a section entitled "The Jew as an Immigrant Into the United States," that Jews were being afforded too large a quota altogether because they were being improperly considered by their nationality instead of as a distinct racial type. By Laughlin's calculations, no more than six thousand Jews per year ought to be able to enter the United States under the existing national quota system -- the system he helped organize a half-decade earlier -- but many more were coming in because they were classified as German or Russian or Polish instead of Jewish. He asked that Jews in the United States "assimilate" properly and prove their "loyalty to the American institutions" was "greater than their loyalty to Jews scattered through other nations." Immigration and Conquest's precepts were in many ways identical to Nazi principles. Laughlin and the ERO proudly sent a copy to Reich Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick, as well as to other leading Nazis, including Verschuer, Lenz, Ploetz and even Rudin at a special address care of a university in occupied Czechoslovakia. [33]

In late 1938, the Carnegie Institution finally disengaged from Eugenical News. The publication became a quarterly completely under the aegis of the American Eugenics Society, published out of AES offices in Manhattan, with a new editorial committee that did not include Laughlin or any other Carnegie scientist. The first issue of the reorganized publication was circulated in March of 1939. Shortly thereafter, the Carnegie Institution formalized Laughlin's retirement, effective at the end of the year. On September 1, 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland, igniting World War II. Highly publicized atrocities against Polish Jews began at once, shocking the world.
Efforts by Laughlin in the final months of 1939 to find a new sponsor for the ERO were unsuccessful. On December 31, 1939, Laughlin officially retired. The Eugenics Record Office was permanently closed the same day. [34]

-- War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race, by Edwin Black

Vannevar Bush
ca. 1940–1944
Born: March 11, 1890, Everett, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died: June 28, 1974 (aged 84), Belmont, Massachusetts, U.S.
Alma mater: Tufts College (B.S., M.S.); Massachusetts Institute of Technology (D.Eng.)
Known for: National Science Foundation; Manhattan Project; Raytheon; Differential analyzer; Memex
Awards: Edison Medal (1943); Hoover Medal (1946); Medal for Merit (1948); IRI Medal (1949); John Fritz Medal (1951); John J. Carty Award (1953); National Medal of Science (1963); Atomic Pioneer Award (1970)
(more, see below)
Scientific career
Fields: Electrical engineering
Institutions: Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Carnegie Institution of Washington
Thesis: Oscillating-current circuits; an extension of the theory of generalized angular velocities, with applications to the coupled circuit and the artificial transmission line (1916)
Doctoral advisor: Dugald C. Jackson
Arthur Edwin Kennelly[1]
Notable students: Claude Shannon; Frederick Terman; Charles Manneback
Influenced: Douglas Engelbart; Ted Nelson

Vannevar Bush (/væˈniːvɑːr/ van-NEE-var; March 11, 1890 – June 28, 1974) was an American engineer, inventor and science administrator, who during World War II headed the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD), through which almost all wartime military R&D was carried out, including important developments in radar and the initiation and early administration of the Manhattan Project. He emphasized the importance of scientific research to national security and economic well-being, and was chiefly responsible for the movement that led to the creation of the National Science Foundation.[2]

Bush joined the Department of Electrical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1919, and founded the company now known as Raytheon in 1922. Bush became vice president of MIT and dean of the MIT School of Engineering in 1932, and president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington in 1938.

During his career, Bush patented a string of his own inventions. He is known particularly for his engineering work on analog computers, and for the memex.[2] Starting in 1927, Bush constructed a differential analyzer, an analog computer with some digital components that could solve differential equations with as many as 18 independent variables. An offshoot of the work at MIT by Bush and others was the beginning of digital circuit design theory. The memex, which he began developing in the 1930s, was a hypothetical adjustable microfilm viewer with a structure analogous to that of hypertext. The memex and Bush's 1945 essay "As We May Think" influenced generations of computer scientists, who drew inspiration from his vision of the future.[3]

Bush was appointed to the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) in 1938, and soon became its chairman. As chairman of the National Defense Research Committee (NDRC), and later director of OSRD, Bush coordinated the activities of some six thousand leading American scientists in the application of science to warfare. Bush was a well-known policymaker and public intellectual during World War II, when he was in effect the first presidential science advisor. As head of NDRC and OSRD, he initiated the Manhattan Project, and ensured that it received top priority from the highest levels of government. In Science, The Endless Frontier, his 1945 report to the President of the United States, Bush called for an expansion of government support for science, and he pressed for the creation of the National Science Foundation.

Early life and work

Vannevar Bush was born in Everett, Massachusetts, on March 11, 1890, the third child and only son of Perry Bush, the local Universalist pastor, and his wife Emma Linwood (née Paine). He had two older sisters, Edith and Reba. He was named after John Vannevar, an old friend of the family who had attended Tufts College with Perry. The family moved to Chelsea, Massachusetts, in 1892,[4] and Bush graduated from Chelsea High School in 1909.[5]

He then attended Tufts, like his father before him. A popular student, he was vice president of his sophomore class, and president of his junior class. During his senior year, he managed the football team. He became a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, and dated Phoebe Clara Davis, who also came from Chelsea. Tufts allowed students to gain a master's degree in four years simultaneously with a bachelor's degree. For his master's thesis, Bush invented and patented a "profile tracer". This was a mapping device for assisting surveyors that looked like a lawn mower. It had two bicycle wheels, and a pen that plotted the terrain over which it traveled. It was the first of a string of inventions.[6][7] On graduation in 1913 he received both bachelor of science and master of science degrees.[8]

After graduation, Bush worked at General Electric (GE) in Schenectady, New York, for $14 a week. As a "test man", his job was to assess equipment to ensure that it was safe. He transferred to GE's plant in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, to work on high voltage transformers, but after a fire broke out at the plant, Bush and the other test men were suspended. He returned to Tufts in October 1914 to teach mathematics, and spent the 1915 summer break working at the Brooklyn Navy Yard as an electrical inspector. Bush was awarded a $1,500 scholarship to study at Clark University as a doctoral student of Arthur Gordon Webster, but Webster wanted Bush to study acoustics, a popular field at the time that led many to computer science. Bush preferred to quit rather than study a subject that did not interest him.[9]

Bush subsequently enrolled in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) electrical engineering program. Spurred by the need for enough financial security to marry,[9] he submitted his thesis, entitled Oscillating-Current Circuits: An Extension of the Theory of Generalized Angular Velocities, with Applications to the Coupled Circuit and the Artificial Transmission Line,[10] in April 1916. His adviser, Arthur Edwin Kennelly, tried to demand more work from him, but Bush refused, and Kennelly was overruled by the department chairman; Bush received his doctorate in engineering jointly from MIT and Harvard University.[9] He married Phoebe in August 1916.[9] They had two sons: Richard Davis Bush and John Hathaway Bush.[11]

Bush accepted a job with Tufts, where he became involved with the American Radio and Research Corporation (AMRAD), which began broadcasting music from the campus on March 8, 1916. The station owner, Harold Power, hired him to run the company's laboratory, at a salary greater than that which Bush drew from Tufts. In 1917, following the United States' entry into World War I, he went to work with the National Research Council. He attempted to develop a means of detecting submarines by measuring the disturbance in the Earth's magnetic field. His device worked as designed, but only from a wooden ship; attempts to get it to work on a metal ship such as a destroyer failed.[12]

Differential analyzer in use at the Cambridge University Mathematics Laboratory, 1938.

Bush left Tufts in 1919, although he remained employed by AMRAD, and joined the Department of Electrical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he worked under Dugald C. Jackson. In 1922, he collaborated with fellow MIT professor William H. Timbie on Principles of Electrical Engineering, an introductory textbook. AMRAD's lucrative contracts from World War I had been cancelled, and Bush attempted to reverse the company's fortunes by developing a thermostatic switch invented by Al Spencer, an AMRAD technician, on his own time. AMRAD's management was not interested in the device, but had no objection to its sale. Bush found backing from Laurence K. Marshall and Richard S. Aldrich to create the Spencer Thermostat Company, which hired Bush as a consultant. The new company soon had revenues in excess of a million dollars.[14] It merged with General Plate Company to form Metals & Controls Corporation in 1931, and with Texas Instruments in 1959. Texas Instruments sold it to Bain Capital in 2006, and it became a separate company again as Sensata Technologies in 2010.[15]

In 1924, Bush and Marshall teamed up with physicist Charles G. Smith, who had invented a device called the S-tube. This enabled radios, which had previously required two different types of batteries, to operate from mains power. Marshall raised $25,000 to set up the American Appliance Company on July 7, 1922, to market the invention, with Bush and Smith among its five directors. The venture made Bush wealthy, and the company, now known as Raytheon, ultimately became a large electronics company and defense contractor.[16][14]

Starting in 1927, Bush constructed a differential analyzer, an analog computer that could solve differential equations with as many as 18 independent variables. This invention arose from previous work performed by Herbert R. Stewart, one of Bush's masters students, who at Bush's suggestion created the integraph, a device for solving first-order differential equations, in 1925. Another student, Harold Hazen, proposed extending the device to handle second-order differential equations. Bush immediately realized the potential of such an invention, for these were much more difficult to solve, but also quite common in physics. Under Bush's supervision, Hazen was able to construct the differential analyzer, a table-like array of shafts and pens that mechanically simulated and plotted the desired equation. Unlike earlier designs that were purely mechanical, the differential analyzer had both electrical and mechanical components.[17] Among the engineers who made use of the differential analyzer was General Electric's Edith Clarke, who used it to solve problems relating to electric power transmission.[18] For developing the differential analyzer, Bush was awarded the Franklin Institute's Louis E. Levy Medal in 1928.[19]

Bush taught binary algebra, circuit theory, and operational calculus according to the methods of Oliver Heaviside while Samuel Wesley Stratton was President of MIT. When Harold Jeffreys in Cambridge, England, offered his mathematical treatment in Operational Methods in Mathematical Physics (1927), Bush responded with his seminal textbook Operational Circuit Analysis (1929) for use instructing future electrical engineers. In the preface he wrote:

I write as an engineer and do not pretend to be a mathematician. I lean for support, and expect always to lean, upon the mathematician, just as I must lean upon the chemist, the physician, or the lawyer. Norbert Wiener has patiently guided me around many a mathematical pitfall ... he has written an appendix to this text on certain mathematical points. I did not know an engineer and a mathematician could have such good times together. I only wish that I could get the real vital grasp of mathematics that he has of the basic principles of physics.

Parry Moon and Stratton were acknowledged, as was M.S. Vallarta who "wrote the first set of class notes which I used."[20]

An offshoot of the work at MIT was the beginning of digital circuit design theory by one of Bush's graduate students, Claude Shannon.[21] Working on the analytical engine, Shannon described the application of Boolean algebra to electronic circuits in his landmark master's thesis, A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits.[22]

In 1939, Shannon’s advisor, Vannevar Bush, sent him to study genetics with Barbara Burks at the Eugenics Record Office at Cold Spring Harbor. That’s right, the Eugenics office was located at Cold Spring Harbor from 1910 until 1939, when it was closed down as a result of Nazi eugenics. Fortunately, Shannon was not very interested in the practical aspects of eugenics, and more focused on the theoretical aspects of genetics.

His work in genetics was a result of direction from Vannevar Bush, who knew about genetics via his presidency of the Carnegie Institution of Washington that ran the Cold Spring Harbor research center. Apparently Bush remarked to a colleague that “It occurred to me that, just as a special algebra had worked well in his hands on the theory of relays, another special algebra might conceivably handle some of the aspects of Mendelian heredity”. The main result of his thesis is his Theorem 12.

-- Claude Shannon, population geneticist, by Lior Pachter

In 1935, Bush was approached by OP-20-G, which was searching for an electronic device to aid in codebreaking. Bush was paid a $10,000 fee to design the Rapid Analytical Machine (RAM). The project went over budget and was not delivered until 1938, when it was found to be unreliable in service. Nonetheless, it was an important step toward creating such a device.[23]

The reform of the administration of MIT began in 1930 with the appointment of Karl T. Compton as president. Bush and Compton soon clashed over the issue of limiting the amount of outside consultancy by professors, a battle Bush quickly lost, but the two men soon built a solid professional relationship. Compton appointed Bush to the newly created post of vice president in 1932. That year Bush also became the dean of the MIT School of Engineering. The two positions came with a salary of $12,000 plus $6,000 for expenses per annum.[24]

The companies Bush helped to found and the technologies he brought into the market allowed him not to be concerned with financial well-being though, and so he was able to pursue academic and scientific studies that he felt made the world better in the years before and after World War II.

World War II

Bush attending a meeting at the University of California, Berkeley in 1940. From left to right: Ernest O. Lawrence, Arthur H. Compton, Bush, James B. Conant, Karl T. Compton, and Alfred L. Loomis

Carnegie Institution for Science

In May 1938, Bush accepted a prestigious appointment as president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington (CIW), which had been founded in Washington, D.C. Also known as the Carnegie Institution for Science, it had an endowment of $33 million, and annually spent $1.5 million in research, most of which was carried out at its eight major laboratories. Bush became its president on January 1, 1939, with a salary of $25,000. He was now able to influence research policy in the United States at the highest level, and could informally advise the government on scientific matters.[25] Bush soon discovered that the CIW had serious financial problems, and he had to ask the Carnegie Corporation for additional funding.[26]

Bush clashed over leadership of the institute with Cameron Forbes, CIW's chairman of the board, and with his predecessor, John Merriam, who continued to offer unwanted advice. A major embarrassment to them all was Harry H. Laughlin, the head of the Eugenics Record Office, whose activities Merriam had attempted to curtail without success. Bush made it a priority to remove him, regarding him as a scientific fraud, and one of his first acts was to ask for a review of Laughlin's work. In June 1938, Bush asked Laughlin to retire, offering him an annuity, which Laughlin reluctantly accepted. The Eugenics Record Office was renamed the Genetics Record Office, its funding was drastically cut, and it was closed completely in 1944.[26] Senator Robert Reynolds attempted to get Laughlin reinstated, but Bush informed the trustees that an inquiry into Laughlin would "show him to be physically incapable of directing an office, and an investigation of his scientific standing would be equally conclusive."[27]

Bush wanted the institute to concentrate on hard science. He gutted Carnegie's archeology program, setting the field back many years in the United States. He saw little value in the humanities and social sciences, and slashed funding for Isis, a journal dedicated to the history of science and technology and its cultural influence.[26] Bush later explained that "I have a great reservation about these studies where somebody goes out and interviews a bunch of people and reads a lot of stuff and writes a book and puts it on a shelf and nobody ever reads it."[28]

National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics

On August 23, 1938, Bush was appointed to the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the predecessor of NASA.[25] Its chairman Joseph Sweetman Ames became ill, and Bush, as vice chairman, soon had to act in his place. In December 1938, NACA asked for $11 million to establish a new aeronautical research laboratory in Sunnyvale, California, to supplement the existing Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory. The California location was chosen for its proximity to some of the largest aviation corporations. This decision was supported by the chief of the United States Army Air Corps, Major General Henry H. Arnold, and by the head of the navy's Bureau of Aeronautics, Rear Admiral Arthur B. Cook, who between them were planning to spend $225 million on new aircraft in the year ahead. However, Congress was not convinced of its value, and Bush had to appear before the Senate Appropriations Committee on April 5, 1939. It was a frustrating experience for Bush, since he had never appeared before Congress before, and the senators were not swayed by his arguments. Further lobbying was required before funding for the new center, now known as the Ames Research Center, was finally approved. By this time, war had broken out in Europe, and the inferiority of American aircraft engines was apparent,[29] in particular the Allison V-1710 which performed poorly at high altitudes and had to be removed from the P-51 Mustang in favor of the British Rolls-Royce Merlin engine.[30] The NACA asked for funding to build a third center in Ohio, which became the Glenn Research Center. Following Ames's retirement in October 1939, Bush became chairman of the NACA, with George J. Mead as his deputy.[29] Bush remained a member of the NACA until November 1948.[31]

National Defense Research Committee

During World War I, Bush had become aware of poor cooperation between civilian scientists and the military. Concerned about the lack of coordination in scientific research and the requirements of defense mobilization, Bush proposed the creation of a general directive agency in the federal government, which he discussed with his colleagues. He had the secretary of NACA prepare a draft of the proposed National Defense Research Committee (NDRC) to be presented to Congress, but after the Germans invaded France in May 1940, Bush decided speed was important and approached President Franklin D. Roosevelt directly. Through the President's uncle, Frederic Delano, Bush managed to set up a meeting with Roosevelt on June 12, 1940, to which he brought a single sheet of paper describing the agency. Roosevelt approved the proposal in 15 minutes, writing "OK – FDR" on the sheet.[32]

With Bush as chairman, the NDRC was functioning even before the agency was officially established by order of the Council of National Defense on June 27, 1940. The organization operated financially on a hand-to-mouth basis with monetary support from the president's emergency fund.[33] Bush appointed four leading scientists to the NDRC: Karl Taylor Compton (president of MIT), James B. Conant (president of Harvard University), Frank B. Jewett (president of the National Academy of Sciences and chairman of the Board of Directors of Bell Laboratories), and Richard C. Tolman (dean of the graduate school at Caltech); Rear Admiral Harold G. Bowen, Sr. and Brigadier General George V. Strong represented the military. The civilians already knew each other well, which allowed the organization to begin functioning immediately.[34] The NDRC established itself in the administration building at the Carnegie Institution of Washington.[35] Each member of the committee was assigned an area of responsibility, while Bush handled coordination. A small number of projects reported to him directly, such as the S-1 Section.[36] Compton's deputy, Alfred Loomis, said that "of the men whose death in the Summer of 1940 would have been the greatest calamity for America, the President is first, and Dr. Bush would be second or third."[37]

Bush was fond of saying that "if he made any important contribution to the war effort at all, it would be to get the Army and Navy to tell each other what they were doing."[38] He established a cordial relationship with Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, and Stimson's assistant, Harvey H. Bundy, who found Bush "impatient" and "vain", but said he was "one of the most important, able men I ever knew".[33] Bush's relationship with the navy was more turbulent. Bowen, the director of the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), saw the NDRC as a bureaucratic rival, and recommended abolishing it. A series of bureaucratic battles ended with the NRL placed under the Bureau of Ships, and Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox placing an unsatisfactory fitness report in Bowen's personnel file. After the war, Bowen would again try to create a rival to the NDRC inside the navy.[39]

On August 31, 1940, Bush met with Henry Tizard, and arranged a series of meetings between the NDRC and the Tizard Mission, a British scientific delegation. At a meeting On September 19, 1940, the Americans described Loomis and Compton's microwave research. They had an experimental 10 cm wavelength short wave radar, but admitted that it did not have enough power and that they were at a dead end. Taffy Bowen and John Cockcroft of the Tizard Mission then produced a cavity magnetron, a device more advanced than anything the Americans had seen, with a power output of around 10 KW at 10 cm,[40] enough to spot the periscope of a surfaced submarine at night from an aircraft. To exploit the invention, Bush decided to create a special laboratory. The NDRC allocated the new laboratory a budget of $455,000 for its first year. Loomis suggested that the lab should be run by the Carnegie Institution, but Bush convinced him that it would best be run by MIT. The Radiation Laboratory, as it came to be known, tested its airborne radar from an Army B-18 on March 27, 1941. By mid-1941, it had developed SCR-584 radar, a mobile radar fire control system for antiaircraft guns.[41]

In September 1940, Norbert Wiener approached Bush with a proposal to build a digital computer. Bush declined to provide NDRC funding for it on the grounds that he did not believe that it could be completed before the end of the war. The supporters of digital computers were disappointed at the decision, which they attributed to a preference for outmoded analog technology. In June 1943, the Army provided $500,000 to build the computer, which became ENIAC, the first general-purpose electronic computer. Having delayed its funding, Bush's prediction proved correct as ENIAC was not completed until December 1945, after the war had ended.[42] His critics saw his attitude as a failure of vision.[43]

Office of Scientific Research and Development

On June 28, 1941, Roosevelt established the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) with the signing of Executive Order 8807.[44] Bush became director of the OSRD while Conant succeeded him as chairman of the NDRC, which was subsumed into the OSRD. The OSRD was on a firmer financial footing than the NDRC since it received funding from Congress, and had the resources and the authority to develop weapons and technologies with or without the military. Furthermore, the OSRD had a broader mandate than the NDRC, moving into additional areas such as medical research[45] and the mass production of penicillin and sulfa drugs. The organization grew to 850 full-time employees,[46] and produced between 30,000 and 35,000 reports.[47] The OSRD was involved in some 2,500 contracts,[48] worth in excess of $536 million.[49]

Bush's method of management at the OSRD was to direct overall policy, while delegating supervision of divisions to qualified colleagues and letting them do their jobs without interference. He attempted to interpret the mandate of the OSRD as narrowly as possible to avoid overtaxing his office and to prevent duplicating the efforts of other agencies. Bush would often ask: "Will it help to win a war; this war?"[50] Other challenges involved obtaining adequate funds from the president and Congress and determining apportionment of research among government, academic, and industrial facilities.[50] His most difficult problems, and also greatest successes, were keeping the confidence of the military, which distrusted the ability of civilians to observe security regulations and devise practical solutions,[51] and opposing conscription of young scientists into the armed forces. This became especially difficult as the army's manpower crisis really began to bite in 1944.[52] In all, the OSRD requested deferments for some 9,725 employees of OSRD contractors, of which all but 63 were granted.[52] In his obituary, The New York Times described Bush as "a master craftsman at steering around obstacles, whether they were technical or political or bull-headed generals and admirals."[53]

Proximity fuze

Cut away diagram of the proximity fuze Mark 53

In August 1940, the NDRC began work on a proximity fuze, a fuze inside an artillery shell that would explode when it came close to its target. A radar set, along with the batteries to power it, was miniaturized to fit inside a shell, and its glass vacuum tubes designed to withstand the 20,000 g-force of being fired from a gun and 500 rotations per second in flight.[54] Unlike normal radar, the proximity fuze sent out a continuous signal rather than short pulses.[55] The NDRC created a special Section T chaired by Merle Tuve of the CIW, with Commander William S. Parsons as special assistant to Bush and liaison between the NDRC and the Navy's Bureau of Ordnance (BuOrd).[54] One of CIW staff members that Tuve recruited to Section T in 1940 was James Van Allen. In April 1942, Bush placed Section T directly under the OSRD, and Parsons in charge. The research effort remained under Tuve but moved to the Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), where Parsons was BuOrd's representative.[56] In August 1942, a live firing test was conducted with the newly commissioned cruiser USS Cleveland; three pilotless drones were shot down in succession.[57]

To preserve the secret of the proximity fuze, its use was initially permitted only over water, where a dud round could not fall into enemy hands. In late 1943, the Army obtained permission to use the weapon over land. The proximity fuze proved particularly effective against the V-1 flying bomb over England, and later Antwerp, in 1944. A version was also developed for use with howitzers against ground targets.[58] Bush met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in October 1944 to press for its use, arguing that the Germans would be unable to copy and produce it before the war was over. Eventually, the Joint Chiefs agreed to allow its employment from December 25. In response to the German Ardennes Offensive on December 16, 1944, the immediate use of the proximity fuze was authorized, and it went into action with deadly effect.[59] By the end of 1944, proximity fuzes were coming off the production lines at the rate of 40,000 per day.[58] "If one looks at the proximity fuze program as a whole," historian James Phinney Baxter III wrote, "the magnitude and complexity of the effort rank it among the three or four most extraordinary scientific achievements of the war."[60]

The German V-1 flying bomb demonstrated a serious omission in OSRD's portfolio: guided missiles. While the OSRD had some success developing unguided rockets, it had nothing comparable to the V-1, the V-2 or the Henschel Hs 293 air-to-ship gliding guided bomb. Although the United States trailed the Germans and Japanese in several areas, this represented an entire field that had been left to the enemy. Bush did not seek the advice of Dr. Robert H. Goddard. Goddard would come to be regarded as America's pioneer of rocketry, but many contemporaries regarded him as a crank. Before the war, Bush had gone on the record as saying, "I don't understand how a serious scientist or engineer can play around with rockets",[61] but in May 1944, he was forced to travel to London to warn General Dwight Eisenhower of the danger posed by the V-1 and V-2.[62] Bush could only recommend that the launch sites be bombed, which was done.[63]
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Part 2 of 2

Manhattan Project

Bush played a critical role in persuading the United States government to undertake a crash program to create an atomic bomb.[64] When the NDRC was formed, the Committee on Uranium was placed under it, reporting directly to Bush as the Uranium Committee. Bush reorganized the committee, strengthening its scientific component by adding Tuve, George B. Pegram, Jesse W. Beams, Ross Gunn and Harold Urey.[65] When the OSRD was formed in June 1941, the Uranium Committee was again placed directly under Bush. For security reasons, its name was changed to the Section S-1.[66]

Left to right: Vannevar Bush, James B. Conant, Major General Leslie Groves and Colonel Franklin Matthias at the Hanford Site in July 1945

Bush met with Roosevelt and Vice President Henry A. Wallace on October 9, 1941, to discuss the project. He briefed Roosevelt on Tube Alloys, the British atomic bomb project and its Maud Committee, which had concluded that an atomic bomb was feasible, and on the German nuclear energy project, about which little was known. Roosevelt approved and expedited the atomic program. To control it, he created a Top Policy Group consisting of himself—although he never attended a meeting—Wallace, Bush, Conant, Stimson and the Chief of Staff of the Army, General George Marshall.[67] On Bush's advice, Roosevelt chose the army to run the project rather than the navy, although the navy had shown far more interest in the field, and was already conducting research into atomic energy for powering ships. Bush's negative experiences with the Navy had convinced him that it would not listen to his advice, and could not handle large-scale construction projects.[68][69]

In March 1942, Bush sent a report to Roosevelt outlining work by Robert Oppenheimer on the nuclear cross section of uranium-235. Oppenheimer's calculations, which Bush had George Kistiakowsky check, estimated that the critical mass of a sphere of Uranium-235 was in the range of 2.5 to 5 kilograms, with a destructive power of around 2,000 tons of TNT. Moreover, it appeared that plutonium might be even more fissile.[70] After conferring with Brigadier General Lucius D. Clay about the construction requirements, Bush drew up a submission for $85 million in fiscal year 1943 for four pilot plants, which he forwarded to Roosevelt on June 17, 1942. With the Army on board, Bush moved to streamline oversight of the project by the OSRD, replacing the Section S-1 with a new S-1 Executive Committee.[71]

Bush soon became dissatisfied with the dilatory way the project was run, with its indecisiveness over the selection of sites for the pilot plants. He was particularly disturbed at the allocation of an AA-3 priority, which would delay completion of the pilot plants by three months. Bush complained about these problems to Bundy and Under Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson. Major General Brehon B. Somervell, the commander of the army's Services of Supply, appointed Brigadier General Leslie R. Groves as project director in September. Within days of taking over, Groves approved the proposed site at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and obtained a AAA priority. At a meeting in Stimson's office on September 23 attended by Bundy, Bush, Conant, Groves, Marshall Somervell and Stimson, Bush put forward his proposal for steering the project by a small committee answerable to the Top Policy Group. The meeting agreed with Bush, and created a Military Policy Committee chaired by him, with Somervell's chief of staff, Brigadier General Wilhelm D. Styer, representing the army, and Rear Admiral William R. Purnell representing the navy.[72]

At the meeting with Roosevelt on October 9, 1941, Bush advocated cooperating with the United Kingdom, and he began corresponding with his British counterpart, Sir John Anderson.[73] But by October 1942, Conant and Bush agreed that a joint project would pose security risks and be more complicated to manage. Roosevelt approved a Military Policy Committee recommendation stating that information given to the British should be limited to technologies that they were actively working on and should not extend to post-war developments.[74] In July 1943, on a visit to London to learn about British progress on antisubmarine technology,[75] Bush, Stimson, and Bundy met with Anderson, Lord Cherwell, and Winston Churchill at 10 Downing Street. At the meeting, Churchill forcefully pressed for a renewal of interchange, while Bush defended current policy. Only when he returned to Washington did he discover that Roosevelt had agreed with the British. The Quebec Agreement merged the two atomic bomb projects, creating the Combined Policy Committee with Stimson, Bush and Conant as United States representatives.[76]

Bush appeared on the cover of Time magazine on April 3, 1944.[77] He toured the Western Front in October 1944, and spoke to ordnance officers, but no senior commander would meet with him. He was able to meet with Samuel Goudsmit and other members of the Alsos Mission, who assured him that there was no danger from the German project; he conveyed this assessment to Lieutenant General Bedell Smith.[78] In May 1945, Bush became part of the Interim Committee formed to advise the new president, Harry S. Truman, on nuclear weapons.[79] It advised that the atomic bomb should be used against an industrial target in Japan as soon as possible and without warning.[80] Bush was present at the Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range on July 16, 1945, for the Trinity nuclear test, the first detonation of an atomic bomb.[81] Afterwards, he took his hat off to Oppenheimer in tribute.[82]

Before the end of the Second World War, Bush and Conant had foreseen and sought to avoid a possible nuclear arms race. Bush proposed international scientific openness and information sharing as a method of self-regulation for the scientific community, to prevent any one political group gaining a scientific advantage. Before nuclear research became public knowledge, Bush used the development of biological weapons as a model for the discussion of similar issues, an "opening wedge". He was less successful in promoting his ideas in peacetime with President Harry Truman, than he had been under wartime conditions with Roosevelt.[2][83]

In "As We May Think", an essay published by the Atlantic Monthly in July 1945, Bush wrote: "This has not been a scientist's war; it has been a war in which all have had a part. The scientists, burying their old professional competition in the demand of a common cause, have shared greatly and learned much. It has been exhilarating to work in effective partnership."[84]

Post-war years

Memex concept

Bush introduced the concept of the memex during the 1930s, which he imagined as a form of memory augmentation involving a microfilm-based "device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory."[84] He wanted the memex to emulate the way the brain links data by association rather than by indexes and traditional, hierarchical storage paradigms, and be easily accessed as "a future device for individual use ... a sort of mechanized private file and library" in the shape of a desk.[84] The memex was also intended as a tool to study the brain itself.[84]

Bush conceived the encyclopedia of the future as having a mesh of associative trails running through it, stored in a memex system.

After thinking about the potential of augmented memory for several years, Bush set out his thoughts at length in "As We May Think", predicting that "wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready made with a mesh of associative trails running through them, ready to be dropped into the memex and there amplified".[84] "As We May Think" was published in the July 1945 issue of The Atlantic. A few months later, Life magazine published a condensed version of "As We May Think", accompanied by several illustrations showing the possible appearance of a memex machine and its companion devices.[85]

Shortly after "As We May Think" was originally published, Douglas Engelbart read it, and with Bush's visions in mind, commenced work that would later lead to the invention of the mouse.[86] Ted Nelson, who coined the terms "hypertext" and "hypermedia", was also greatly influenced by Bush's essay.[87][88]

"As We May Think" has turned out to be a visionary and influential essay.[89] In their introduction to a paper discussing information literacy as a discipline, Bill Johnston and Sheila Webber wrote in 2005 that:

Bush's paper might be regarded as describing a microcosm of the information society, with the boundaries tightly drawn by the interests and experiences of a major scientist of the time, rather than the more open knowledge spaces of the 21st century. Bush provides a core vision of the importance of information to industrial / scientific society, using the image of an "information explosion" arising from the unprecedented demands on scientific production and technological application of World War II. He outlines a version of information science as a key discipline within the practice of scientific and technical knowledge domains. His view encompasses the problems of information overload and the need to devise efficient mechanisms to control and channel information for use.[90]

Bush was concerned that information overload might inhibit the research efforts of scientists. Looking to the future, he predicted a time when "there is a growing mountain of research. But there is increased evidence that we are being bogged down today as specialization extends. The investigator is staggered by the findings and conclusions of thousands of other workers."[84]

National Science Foundation

The OSRD continued to function actively until some time after the end of hostilities, but by 1946–1947 it had been reduced to a minimal staff charged with finishing work remaining from the war period; Bush was calling for its closure even before the war had ended. During the war, the OSRD had issued contracts as it had seen fit, with just eight organizations accounting for half of its spending. MIT was the largest to receive funds, with its obvious ties to Bush and his close associates. Efforts to obtain legislation exempting the OSRD from the usual government conflict of interest regulations failed, leaving Bush and other OSRD principals open to prosecution. Bush therefore pressed for OSRD to be wound up as soon as possible.[91]

With its dissolution, Bush and others had hoped that an equivalent peacetime government research and development agency would replace the OSRD. Bush felt that basic research was important to national survival for both military and commercial reasons, requiring continued government support for science and technology; technical superiority could be a deterrent to future enemy aggression. In Science, The Endless Frontier, a July 1945 report to the president, Bush maintained that basic research was "the pacemaker of technological progress". "New products and new processes do not appear full-grown," Bush wrote in the report. "They are founded on new principles and new conceptions, which in turn are painstakingly developed by research in the purest realms of science!"[92] In Bush's view, the "purest realms" were the physical and medical sciences; he did not propose funding the social sciences.[93] In Science, The Endless Frontier, science historian Daniel Kevles later wrote, Bush "insisted upon the principle of Federal patronage for the advancement of knowledge in the United States, a departure that came to govern Federal science policy after World War II."[94]

Bush (left) with Harry S. Truman (center) and James B. Conant (right)

In July 1945, the Kilgore bill was introduced in Congress, proposing the appointment and removal of a single science administrator by the president, with emphasis on applied research, and a patent clause favoring a government monopoly. In contrast, the competing Magnuson bill was similar to Bush's proposal to vest control in a panel of top scientists and civilian administrators with the executive director appointed by them. The Magnuson bill emphasized basic research and protected private patent rights.[95] A compromise Kilgore–Magnuson bill of February 1946 passed the Senate but expired in the House because Bush favored a competing bill that was a virtual duplicate of Magnuson's original bill.[96] A Senate bill was introduced in February 1947 to create the National Science Foundation (NSF) to replace the OSRD. This bill favored most of the features advocated by Bush, including the controversial administration by an autonomous scientific board. The bill passed the Senate and the House, but was pocket vetoed by Truman on August 6, on the grounds that the administrative officers were not properly responsible to either the president or Congress.[97] The OSRD was abolished without a successor organization on December 31, 1947.[98]

Without a National Science Foundation, the military stepped in, with the Office of Naval Research (ONR) filling the gap. The war had accustomed many scientists to working without the budgetary constraints imposed by pre-war universities.[99] Bush helped create the Joint Research and Development Board (JRDB) of the Army and Navy, of which he was chairman. With passage of the National Security Act on July 26, 1947, the JRDB became the Research and Development Board (RDB). Its role was to promote research through the military until a bill creating the National Science Foundation finally became law.[100] By 1953, the Department of Defense was spending $1.6 billion a year on research; physicists were spending 70 percent of their time on defense related research, and 98 percent of the money spent on physics came from either the Department of Defense or the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), which took over from the Manhattan Project on January 1, 1947.[101] Legislation to create the National Science Foundation finally passed through Congress and was signed into law by Truman in 1950.[102]

The authority that Bush had as chairman of the RDB was much different from the power and influence he enjoyed as director of OSRD and would have enjoyed in the agency he had hoped would be independent of the Executive branch and Congress. He was never happy with the position and resigned as chairman of the RDB after a year, but remained on the oversight committee.[103] He continued to be skeptical about rockets and missiles, writing in his 1949 book, Modern Arms and Free Men, that intercontinental ballistic missiles would not be technically feasible "for a long time to come ... if ever".[104]

Later life

With Truman as president, men like John R. Steelman, who was appointed chairman of the President's Scientific Research Board in October 1946, came to prominence.[105] Bush's authority, both among scientists and politicians, suffered a rapid decline, though he remained a revered figure.[106] In September 1949, he was appointed to head a scientific panel that included Oppenheimer to review the evidence that the Soviet Union had tested its first atomic bomb. The panel concluded that it had, and this finding was relayed to Truman, who made the public announcement.[107] Bush was outraged when a security hearing stripped Oppenheimer of his security clearance in 1954; he issued a strident attack on Oppenheimer's accusers in The New York Times. Alfred Friendly summed up the feeling of many scientists in declaring that Bush had become "the Grand Old Man of American science".[108]

Bush continued to serve on the NACA through 1948 and expressed annoyance with aircraft companies for delaying development of a turbojet engine because of the huge expense of research and development as well as retooling from older piston engines.[109] He was similarly disappointed with the automobile industry, which showed no interest in his proposals for more fuel-efficient engines. General Motors told him that "even if it were a better engine, [General Motors] would not be interested in it."[110] Bush likewise deplored trends in advertising. "Madison Avenue believes", he said, "that if you tell the public something absurd, but do it enough times, the public will ultimately register it in its stock of accepted verities."[111]

From 1947–1962, Bush was on the board of directors for American Telephone and Telegraph. He retired as president of the Carnegie Institution and returned to Massachusetts in 1955,[108] but remained a director of Metals and Controls Corporation from 1952–1959, and of Merck & Co. 1949–1962.[112] Bush became chairman of the board at Merck following the death of George W. Merck, serving until 1962. He worked closely with the company's president, Max Tishler, although Bush was concerned about Tishler's reluctance to delegate responsibility. Bush distrusted the company's sales organization, but supported Tishler's research and development efforts.[113] He was a trustee of Tufts College 1943–1962, of Johns Hopkins University 1943–1955, of the Carnegie Corporation of New York 1939–1950, the Carnegie Institution of Washington 1958–1974, and the George Putnam Fund of Boston 1956–1972, and was a regent of the Smithsonian Institution 1943–1955.[114]

Bush received the AIEE's Edison Medal in 1943, "for his contribution to the advancement of electrical engineering, particularly through the development of new applications of mathematics to engineering problems, and for his eminent service to the nation in guiding the war research program."[115] In 1945, Bush was awarded the Public Welfare Medal from the National Academy of Sciences.[116] In 1949, he received the IRI Medal from the Industrial Research Institute in recognition of his contributions as a leader of research and development.[114] President Truman awarded Bush the Medal of Merit with bronze oak leaf cluster in 1948, President Lyndon Johnson awarded him the National Medal of Science in 1963,[117] and President Richard Nixon presented him with the Atomic Pioneers Award from the Atomic Energy Commission in February 1970.[118] Bush was also made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1948, and an Officer of the French Legion of Honor in 1955.[114]

After suffering a stroke, Bush died in Belmont, Massachusetts, at the age of 84 from pneumonia on June 28, 1974. He was survived by his sons Richard (a surgeon) and John (president of Millipore Corporation) and by six grandchildren and his sister Edith. Bush's wife had died in 1969.[119] He was buried at South Dennis Cemetery in South Dennis, Massachusetts,[120] after a private funeral service. At a public memorial subsequently held by MIT,[121] Jerome Wiesner declared "No American has had greater influence in the growth of science and technology than Vannevar Bush".[112]

In 1980, the National Science Foundation created the Vannevar Bush Award to honor his contributions to public service.[122] The Vannevar Bush papers are located in several places, with the majority of the collection held at the Library of Congress. Additional papers are held by the MIT Institute Archives and Special Collections, the Carnegie Institution, and the National Archives and Records Administration.[123][124][125]

This inscription honoring Vannevar Bush is in the lobby of MIT's Building 13, which is named after him, and is the home of the Center for Materials Science and Engineering.[126]

See also

• List of pioneers in computer science


(For a complete list of his published papers, see Wiesner 1979, pp. 107–117).
• Bush, Vannevar; Timbie, William H. (1922). Principles of Electrical Engineering. John Wiley & Sons – via Internet Archive.
• Bush, Vannevar; Wiener, Norbert (1929). Operational Circuit Analysis. New York: J. Wiley & Sons. OCLC 2167931.
• —— (1945). Science, the Endless Frontier: a Report to the President. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. OCLC 1594001. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
• —— (1946). Endless Horizons. Washington, D.C.: Public Affairs Press. OCLC 1152058.
• —— (1949). Modern Arms and Free Men: a Discussion of the Role of Science in Preserving Democracy. New York: Simon and Schuster. OCLC 568075.
• Bush, Vannevar (1967). Science Is Not Enough. New York: Morrow. OCLC 520108.
• Bush, Vannevar (1970). Pieces of the Action. New York: Morrow. OCLC 93366.


1. "Vannevar Bush". Computer Science Tree. Retrieved November 8, 2015.
2. Meyer, Michal (2018). "The Rise and Fall of Vannevar Bush". Distillations. Science History Institute. 4 (2): 6–7. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
3. Houston, Ronald D.; Harmon, Glynn (2007). "Vannevar Bush and memex". Annual Review of Information Science and Technology. 41 (1): 55–92. doi:10.1002/aris.2007.1440410109.
4. Zachary 1997, pp. 12–13.
5. Zachary 1997, p. 22.
6. Zachary 1997, pp. 25–27.
7. "Vannevar Bush's profile tracer". National Museum of American History. Retrieved March 12, 2015.
8. Wiesner 1979, pp. 90–91.
9. Zachary 1997, pp. 28–32.
10. Puchta 1996, p. 58.
11. Zachary 1997, pp. 41, 245.
12. Zachary 1997, pp. 33–38.
13. Owens 1991, p. 15.
14. Zachary 1997, pp. 39–43.
15. "History of Our Company". Sensata Technologies. Archived from the original on 2 June 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
16. "Raytheon Company". International Directory of Company Histories. St. James Press. 2001. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
17. Owens 1991, pp. 6–11.
18. Brittain 2008, pp. 2132–2133.
19. Wiesner 1979, p. 106.
20. L.E.P. (1929). "Review of Operational Circuit Analysis by Vannevar Bush". Journal of the Franklin Institute. 208 (1): 131–132. doi:10.1016/S0016-0032(29)90969-8.
21. "Claude E. Shannon, an oral history conducted in 1982 by Robert Price". IEEE Global History Network. New Brunswick, New Jersey: IEEE History Center. 1982. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
22. "MIT Professor Claude Shannon dies; was founder of digital communications". MIT News. February 27, 2001. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
23. Zachary 1997, pp. 76–78.
24. Zachary 1997, pp. 55–56.
25. Zachary 1997, pp. 83–85.
26. Zachary 1997, pp. 91–95.
27. Zachary 1997, p. 93.
28. Zachary 1997, p. 94.
29. Zachary 1997, pp. 98–99.
30. Evans, Ryan Thomas (2010). "Aviation at sunrise: shortcomings of the American Air Forces in North Africa during TORCH compared to the Royal Air Force on Malta, 1941–1942". WWU Masters Thesis Collection. Western Washington University. pp. 34–38. Paper 76. Retrieved March 12, 2015.
31. Roland 1985, p. 427.
32. Zachary 1997, pp. 104–112.
33. Zachary 1997, p. 129.
34. Stewart 1948, p. 7.
35. Zachary 1997, p. 119.
36. Stewart 1948, pp. 10–12.
37. Zachary 1997, p. 106.
38. Zachary 1997, p. 125.
39. Zachary 1997, pp. 124–127.
40. Conant 2002, pp. 168–169, 182.
41. Zachary 1997, pp. 132–134.
42. Honeywell, Inc. v. Sperry Rand Corp., 180 U.S.P.Q. (BNA) 673, p. 20, finding 1.1.3 (U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, Fourth Division 1973) ("... the ENIAC machine was being operated rather than tested after 1 December 1945.").
43. Zachary 1997, p. 266–267.
44. Roosevelt, Franklin D. (June 28, 1941). "Executive Order 8807 Establishing the Office of Scientific Research and Development". The American Presidency Project. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
45. Zachary 1997, pp. 127–129.
46. Stewart 1948, p. 189.
47. Stewart 1948, p. 185.
48. Stewart 1948, p. 190.
49. Stewart 1948, p. 322.
50. Zachary 1997, pp. 130–131.
51. Zachary 1997, pp. 124–125.
52. Stewart 1948, p. 276.
53. Reinholds, Robert. "Dr. Vannevar Bush is dead at 84; Dr. Vannevar Bush, who marshaled nation's wartime technology and ushered in Atomic Age, is dead at 84". GN. The New York Times. p. 1.
54. Furer 1959, pp. 346–347.
55. "Section T "Proximity Fuze" Records, 1940–[1999] (bulk 1941–1943)". Carnegie Institution of Washington. Retrieved June 7, 2012.
56. Christman 1998, pp. 86–91.
57. Furer 1959, p. 348.
58. Furer 1959, p. 349.
59. Zachary 1997, pp. 176, 180–183.
60. Baxter 1946, p. 241.
61. Zachary 1997, p. 179.
62. Zachary 1997, p. 177.
63. Bush 1970, p. 307.
64. Goldberg 1992, p. 451.
65. Hewlett & Anderson 1962, p. 25.
66. Hewlett & Anderson 1962, pp. 40–41.
67. Hewlett & Anderson 1962, pp. 45–46.
68. Zachary 1997, p. 203.
69. Hewlett & Anderson 1962, pp. 51, 71–72.
70. Hewlett & Anderson 1962, p. 61.
71. Hewlett & Anderson 1962, pp. 72–75.
72. Hewlett & Anderson 1962, pp. 78–83.
73. Hewlett & Anderson 1962, pp. 259–260.
74. Hewlett & Anderson 1962, pp. 264–270.
75. Zachary 1997, p. 211.
76. Hewlett & Anderson 1962, pp. 276–280.
77. "Dr. Vannevar Bush". Time. XLIII (14). April 3, 1944.
78. Bush 1970, pp. 114–116.
79. Hewlett & Anderson 1962, pp. 344–345.
80. Hewlett & Anderson 1962, pp. 360–361.
81. Hewlett & Anderson 1962, p. 378.
82. Zachary 1997, p. 280.
83. Wellerstein, Alex (July 25, 2012). "Biological Warfare: Vannevar Bush's "Entering Wedge" (1944)". Restricted Data. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
84. Bush, Vannevar (July 1945). "As We May Think". The Atlantic Monthly. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
85. Bush, Vannevar (September 10, 1945). "As We May Think". Life. pp. 112–124. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
86. "A Lifetime Pursuit". Doug Engelbart Institute. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
87. "Hypertext". Doug Engelbart Institute. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
88. Crawford 1996, p. 671.
89. Buckland 1992, p. 284.
90. Johnston & Webber 2006, p. 109.
91. Zachary 1997, pp. 246–249.
92. "Science the Endless Frontier: A Report to the President by Vannevar Bush, Director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development". National Science Foundation. July 1945. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
93. Greenberg 2001, pp. 44–45.
94. Greenberg 2001, p. 52.
95. Zachary 1997, pp. 253–256.
96. Zachary 1997, p. 328.
97. Zachary 1997, p. 332.
98. "Records of the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD)". National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
99. Hershberg 1993, p. 397.
100. Zachary 1997, pp. 318–323.
101. Hershberg 1993, pp. 305–309.
102. Zachary 1997, pp. 368–369.
103. Zachary 1997, pp. 336–345.
104. Hershberg 1993, p. 393.
105. Zachary 1997, pp. 330–331.
106. Zachary 1997, pp. 346–347.
107. Zachary 1997, pp. 348–349.
108. Zachary 1997, pp. 377–378.
109. Dawson 1991, p. 80.
110. Zachary 1997, p. 387.
111. Zachary 1997, p. 386.
112. Wiesner 1979, p. 108.
113. Werth 1994, p. 132.
114. Wiesner 1979, p. 107.
115. "Vannevar Bush". IEEE Global History Network. IEEE. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
116. "Public Welfare Award". National Academy of Sciences. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved February 14, 2011.
117. "The President's National Medal of Science". National Science Foundation. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
118. Nixon, Richard (February 27, 1970). "Remarks on Presenting the Atomic Pioneers Award". The American Presidency Project. Archived from the original on February 1, 2013. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
119. Wiesner 1979, p. 105.
120. "Dennis 1974 Annual Town Reports" (PDF). Retrieved June 14, 2012.
121. Zachary 1997, p. 407.
122. "Vannevar Bush Award". National Science Foundation. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
123. "Vannevar Bush Papers, 1921–1975". Manuscript Collection. MIT Institute Archives & Special Collections. MC 78. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
124. "Vannevar Bush Papers 1901–1974". Library of Congress. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
125. "Carnegie Institution of Washington Administration Records, 1890–2001". Carnegie Institution of Washington. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
126. Wiesner 1979, p. 101.


• Baxter, James Phinney (1946). Scientists Against Time. Boston: Little, Brown and Co. OCLC 1084158.
• Brittain, James E. (December 2008). "Electrical Engineering Hall of Fame: Vannevar Bush". Proceedings of the IEEE. 96 (12): 2131. doi:10.1109/JPROC.2008.2006199.
• Buckland, Michael (May 1992). "Emanuel Goldberg, electronic document retrieval, and Vannevar Bush's Memex". Journal of the American Society for Information Science. 43 (4): 284–294. doi:10.1002/(sici)1097-4571(199205)43:4<284::aid-asi3>;2-0.
• Conant, Jennet (2002). Tuxedo Park. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-684-87287-2. OCLC 48966735.
• Christman, Albert B. (1998). Target Hiroshima: Deak Parsons and the creation of the atomic bomb. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-55750-120-2. OCLC 38257982.
• Crawford, T. Hugh (Winter 1996). "Paterson, Memex, and hypertext". American Literary History. 8 (4): 665–682. doi:10.1093/alh/8.4.665. JSTOR 490117.
• Dawson, Virginia P. (1991). Engines and Innovation: Lewis Laboratory and American propulsion technology. Scientific and Technical Information Division. Washington, D.C.: National Aeronautics and Space Administration. ISBN 978-0-16-030742-3. OCLC 22665627. Archived from the original on November 13, 2004. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
• Furer, Julius Augustus (1959). Administration of the Navy Department in World War II. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. OCLC 1915787.
• Goldberg, Stanley (September 1992). "Inventing a climate of opinion: Vannevar Bush and the decision to build the bomb". Isis. 83 (3): 429–452. doi:10.1086/356203. JSTOR 233904.
• Greenberg, Daniel S. (2001). Science, Money, and Politics: Political triumph and ethical erosion. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-30634-6. OCLC 45661689.
• Hershberg, James G. (1993). James B. Conant: Harvard to Hiroshima and the making of the nuclear age. New York: Knopf. ISBN 978-0-394-57966-5. OCLC 27678159.
• Hewlett, Richard G.; Anderson, Oscar E. (1962). The New World, 1939–1946 (PDF). University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press. ISBN 978-0-520-07186-5. OCLC 637004643. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
• Johnston, Bill; Webber, Sheila (2006). "As We May Think: Information literacy as a discipline for the information age". Research Strategies. 20 (3): 108–121. doi:10.1016/j.resstr.2006.06.005. ISSN 0734-3310.
• Owens, Larry (1991). "Vannevar Bush and the Differential Analyzer: The text and context of and early computer". In Nyce, James M.; Kahn, Paul (eds.). From Memex to Hypertext: Vannevar Bush and the mind's machine. Boston, MA: Academic Press. pp. 3–38. ISBN 978-0-12-523270-8. OCLC 24870981.
• Puchta, Susann (Winter 1996). "On the role of mathematics and mathematical knowledge in the invention of Vannevar Bush's early analog computers". IEEE Annals of the History of Computing. 18 (4): 49–59. doi:10.1109/85.539916.
• Roland, Alex (1985). Model Research. Scientific and Technical Information Branch. 2. Washington, D.C.: National Aeronautics and Space Administration. SP-4103. Archived from the original on November 13, 2004. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
• Stewart, Irvin (1948). Organizing Scientific Research for War: The administrative history of the Office of Scientific Research and Development. Boston, MA: Little, Brown, and Company. OCLC 500138898. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
• Wiesner, Jerome B. (1979). Vannevar Bush, 1890–1974: A biographical memoir (PDF). Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences of the United States. OCLC 79828818. Retrieved January 27, 2016.
• Werth, Barry (1994). The Billion-Dollar Molecule: One company's quest for the perfect drug. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-671-72327-9. OCLC 28721852.
• Zachary, G. Pascal (1997). Endless Frontier: Vannevar Bush, engineer of the American century. New York: The Free Press. ISBN 978-0-684-82821-3. OCLC 36521020.

External links

• "Vannevar Bush papers, 1901–1974". Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress.
• "Vannevar Bush papers, 1910–1988". Tufts University. hdl:10427/57028.
• "MIT Web Museum".
• "1995 MIT / Brown U. Vannevar Bush Symposium". complete video archive.
• "The Vannevar Bush Index". Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum.
• Video demonstrating the ideas behind the Memex system on YouTube
• "Pictures of Vannevar Bush". Tufts Digital Library.
• "Biographical Memoir" (PDF). National Academy of Sciences.
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Harry H. Laughlin
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/29/20

Harry H. Laughlin
Laughlin, circa 1929
Born: March 11, 1880, Oskaloosa, Iowa
Died: January 26, 1943 (aged 62), Missouri
Education: District Normal School; Princeton University
Occupation: Educator, sociologist, eugenicist
Spouse(s): Pansy Laughlin

Harry Hamilton Laughlin (March 11, 1880 – January 26, 1943) was an American educator, eugenicist, and sociologist. He served as the Superintendent of the Eugenics Record Office from its inception in 1910 to its closing in 1939, and was among the most active individuals in influencing American eugenics policy, especially compulsory sterilization legislation.


Early life

Harry Hamilton Laughlin was born March 11, 1880 in Oskaloosa, Iowa. He graduated from the First District Normal School (now Truman State University) in Kirksville, Missouri. In 1917, he earned a Doctor of Science from Princeton University in the field of cytology.


Eugenics Record Office

He worked as a high school teacher and principal before his interest turned to eugenics. This led to his correspondence with Charles Davenport, an early researcher into Mendelian inheritance in the United States. In 1910, Davenport asked Laughlin to move to Long Island, New York, to serve as the superintendent of his new research office.

The Eugenics Record Office (ERO) was founded at Cold Spring Harbor, New York, by Davenport with initial support from Mary Williamson Averell (Mrs. E. H. Harriman) and John Harvey Kellogg, and later by the Carnegie Institution of Washington.[1] Laughlin was made the managing director and was zealous in pursuing the goals of the institution, even co-writing a eugenical comedy in four acts for performance at the ERO for the amusement of the field workers being trained. He regularly lectured to various groups around the country.

Laughlin provided extensive statistical testimony to the United States Congress in support of the Johnson-Reed Immigration Act of 1924. Part of his testimony dealt with "excessive" insanity among immigrants from southern Europe and eastern Europe. He was eventually appointed as an expert eugenics agent to the Committee on Immigration and Naturalization (the 1924 law applied national-origin quotas on immigrants, which stopped the large Italian and Russian influx of the early 1900s). At least one contemporary scientist, bacterial geneticist Herbert Spencer Jennings, condemned Laughlin's statistics as invalid because they compared recent immigrants to more settled immigrants.

In 1927, the Eugenics Research Association, of which Laughlin was an officer, began a study of the heritage of U.S. Senators. Some senators were enthusiastic, others reluctantly complied, while Senator William Cabell Bruce questioned whether eugenics was even a science and refused to participate. Laughlin wrote to Bruce's hometown newspaper in an attempt to get the information.

Sterilization laws

One of Laughlin's key interests was to aid in the proliferation of compulsory sterilization legislation in the United States, which would presumably sterilize the "unfit" members of the population. By 1914, twelve states had already passed sterilization laws, beginning with Indiana in 1907 and Connecticut in 1909. However, the laws were not employed with significant vigor, with the exception of California. In his study of this "problem," Laughlin deduced that much of the state sterilization legislation was poorly worded and left it open to questions of constitutionality and confusion over bureaucratic responsibility. As a result, Laughlin drafted the Model Eugenical Sterilization Law, a model act for compulsory sterilization, intended to satisfy these difficulties. He published the proposal in his 1922 study of American sterilization policy, Eugenical Sterilization in the United States. It included as subjects for eugenic sterilization: the feeble-minded, the insane, criminals, epileptics, alcoholics, blind persons, deaf persons, deformed persons, and indigent persons. An additional eighteen states passed laws based on Laughlin's model, including Virginia in 1924.

The first person ordered sterilized in Virginia under the new law was Carrie Buck, on the grounds that she was the "probable potential parent of socially inadequate offspring." A lawsuit ensued and Laughlin, who had never met Buck, gave a deposition endorsing her suitability for sterilization, calling the family members of "the shiftless, ignorant, and worthless class of anti-social whites of the South". Other scientists from the ERO testified in person. The state won the case, which was appealed to the United States Supreme Court in 1927. The resulting case, Buck v. Bell, upheld the constitutionality of the laws that Laughlin helped write. Five months after the court confirmed the law, Carrie Buck was sterilized. A law allowing for the sterilization of repeat criminals was overturned in 1942, in Skinner v. Oklahoma, but sterilizations of mental patients continued into the 1970s. Altogether more than 60,000 Americans were sterilized. Virginia repealed its sterilization law in 1974. Laughlin also supported the passage of Virginia's Racial Integrity Act, which outlawed miscegenation. In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned that law in Loving v. Virginia.

Association with German eugenics

The Reichstag of Nazi Germany passed the Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring in 1933, closely based on Laughlin's model.[2] Between 35,000 and 80,000 persons were sterilized in the first full year alone (it is now known that over 350,000 persons were sterilized). Laughlin was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Heidelberg in 1936 for his work behalf of the "science of racial cleansing." However, reports about the extensive use of compulsory sterilization in Germany began to appear in US newspapers. By the end of the decade, eugenics had become associated with Nazism and poor science. Support for groups like the American Eugenics Society began to fade. In 1935, a review panel convened by the Carnegie Institute concluded that the ERO's research did not have scientific merit. By 1939, the Institute withdrew funding for the ERO, and the office was forced to close.

Laughlin was a founding member of the Pioneer Fund, and was its first president, serving from 1937 to 1941. The Pioneer Fund was created by Wickliffe Draper in order to promote the "betterment of the race" through eugenics. Draper had been supporting the Eugenics Research Association and its Eugenical News since 1932. One of the first projects that Laughlin pursued for the Fund was the distribution of two films from Germany depicting the success of eugenics programs in that country. A biographer has described Laughlin as "among the most racist and anti-Semitic of early twentieth-century eugenicists."[3]

World government

As well as his interest in eugenics, Laughlin was fascinated by the idea of establishing a world government. He worked on his plans for this institution throughout his adult life. The world government model that he devised was loosely based on the U.S. Constitution and the League of Nations. The allotment of representation in the body was heavily biased in favor of Europe and North America, particularly Great Britain and the United States. Laughlin believed that his world government model would promote the eugenicist aim of preventing the intermixing of different races. Many leading internationalists expressed interest in Laughlin's world government plan, including Edward M. House, Woodrow Wilson's foreign policy adviser.[4]

Personal life

He was married to Pansy Laughlin in 1902, and they did not have children. They resided in Missouri in retirement. After his retirement from the Eugenics Record Office they returned to Kirksville in December 1939. Laughlin died January 26, 1943, and was buried near his father and mother in Highland Park Cemetery in Kirksville.


He died on January 26, 1943 in Missouri[5] and is buried in Highland Park Cemetery in Kirksville, Missouri.[6]

See also

• Eugenics in the United States
• E. S. Gosney
• Madison Grant
• Human Betterment Foundation
• Paul B. Popenoe


1. Laughlin, Harry. "Eugenical Sterilization in the United States". PSYCHOPATHIC LABORATORY OF THE MUNICIPAL COURT OF CHICAGO. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
2. Bruinius, Harry (2007). Better for All the World: The Secret History of Forced Sterilization and America's Quest for Racial Purity. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 978-0-375-71305-7.
3. Lombardo, Paul A. "The American Breed": Nazi Eugenics and the Origins of the Pioneer Fund. Albany Law Review, Vol. 65, No. 3, P. 822.
4. McDonald, Jason (July 2013). "Making the World Safe for Eugenics: The Eugenicist Harry H. Laughlin's Encounters with American Internationalism1". The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. 12 (3): 379–411. doi:10.1017/S1537781413000212 – via Cambridge Core.
5. "Dr. Harry H. Laughlin Geneticist and Author, 62, Once With Carnegie Institute, Dies". New York Times. January 28, 1943. Retrieved 2010-07-04. Dr. Harry Hamilton Laughlin, geneticist and immigration authority, died here yesterday at the age of 62. Dr. Laughlin urged for years restriction of ...
6. "Kirksville Devil's Chair". Atlas Obscura.

Further reading

• Black, Edwin (2003). War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race. New York: Four Walls Eight Windows. ISBN 978-1-56858-258-0. Winner, "2003 Best Book of the Year," International Human Rights Award.
• Bruinius, Harry (2007). Better for All the World: The Secret History of Forced Sterilization and America's Quest for Racial Purity. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 978-0-375-71305-7.
• Elof Axel Carlson, "Times of Triumph, Times of Doubt: Science and the Battle for Public Trust" (Cold Spring Harbor: Cold Spring Harbor Press, 2006). ISBN 0-87969-805-5
• Kühl, Stefan (2002). The Nazi Connection: Eugenics, American Racism, and German National Socialism. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-514978-4. Lay summary (2 October 2010).
• Harry H. Laughlin, Eugenical Sterilization in the United States (Chicago: Psychopathic Laboratory of the Municipal Court of Chicago, 1922).
• Spiro, Jonathan P. (2009). Defending the Master Race: Conservation, Eugenics, and the Legacy of Madison Grant. Univ. of Vermont Press. ISBN 978-1-58465-715-6. Lay summary (29 September 2010).
• Tucker, William H. (2007). The Funding of Scientific Racism: Wickliffe Draper and the Pioneer Fund. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 978-0-252-07463-9. Lay summary (4 September 2010).
• McDonald, Jason (2013). "Making the World Safe for Eugenics." Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. ... 1413000212

External links

• Harry H. Laughlin Papers, at Truman State University
• Eugenics Images Archive at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
• The Sterilization of America: A Cautionary History
• University of Virginia: Eugenics
• Laughlin, Harry H. Eugenical Sterilization in the United States. Psychopathic Laboratory of the Municipal Court of Chicago, 1922.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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Charles Davenport
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/29/20

Charles Davenport
Charles Benedict Davenport, ca. 1929.
Born: June 1, 1866, Stamford, Connecticut
Died: February 18, 1944 (aged 77), Cold Spring Harbor, New York
Nationality: American
Alma mater: Harvard University
Spouse(s): Gertrude C. Davenport
Children: Millia Crotty, Jane Joralemon di Tomasi, Charles Benedict, Jr.
Scientific career
Fields: Eugenicist and biologist
Institutions: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Charles Benedict Davenport (June 1, 1866 – February 18, 1944) was a prominent American biologist and eugenicist. He was one of the leaders of the American eugenics movement.

Early life and education

Davenport was born in Stamford, Connecticut, to Amzi Benedict Davenport, an abolitionist of Puritan ancestry, and his wife Jane Joralemon Dimon (of English, Dutch and Italian ancestry). His mother's strong beliefs tended to rub off onto Charles and he followed the example of his mother.[1] During the summer months, Charles and his family lived in Brooklyn due to his father's job. Due to Davenport's father's strong belief in Protestantism, as a young boy Charles was tutored at home. This came about in order for Charles to learn the values of hard work and education. When he was not studying, Charles worked as a janitor and errand boy for his father's business.[1] He attended Harvard University, earning a Ph.D in biology in 1892 and married Gertrude Crotty, a zoology graduate, in 1894. He had two daughters with Gertrude, Millia Crotty and Jane Davenport Harris di Tomasi.[2]


Later on, Davenport became a professor of zoology at Harvard. He became one of the most prominent American biologists of his time, pioneering new quantitative standards of taxonomy. Davenport had a tremendous respect for the biometric approach to evolution pioneered by Francis Galton and Karl Pearson, and was involved in Pearson's journal, Biometrika. However, after the re-discovery of Gregor Mendel's laws of heredity, he moved on to become a prominent supporter of Mendelian inheritance.

In 1904,[1] Davenport became director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory,[3] where he founded the Eugenics Record Office in 1910. During his time at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Davenport began a series of investigations into aspects of the inheritance of human personality and mental traits, and over the years he generated hundreds of papers and several books on the genetics of alcoholism, pellagra (later shown to be due to a vitamin deficiency), criminality, feeblemindedness, seafaringness, bad temper, intelligence, manic depression, and the biological effects of race crossing.[1] Additionally, Davenport mentored many people while working at the Laboratory, such as Massachusetts suffragist, Claiborne Catlin Elliman.[4] Before Charles Davenport came across eugenics, he studied math. He came to know these subjects through Professors Karl Pearson and gentleman amateur Francis Galton. He met them in London. Upon meeting them, he fell in love with the subject matter. In 1901, Biometrika, a journal of which Charles Davenport was a co editor, gave him the opportunity to use the skills that he had learned. Davenport became an advocate of the biometrical approach for the rest of his life.[1] He began to study human heredity, and much of his effort was later turned to promoting eugenics.[5] His 1911 book, Heredity in Relation to Eugenics, was used as a college textbook for many years. The year after it was published Davenport was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Davenport's work with eugenics caused much controversy among many other eugenicists and scientists. Although his writings were about eugenics, their findings were very simplistic and out of touch with the findings from genetics. This caused much racial and class bias. Only his most ardent admirers regarded it as truly scientific work.[1] During Davenport's tenure at Cold Spring Harbor, several reorganizations took place there. In 1918 the Carnegie Institution of Washington took over funding of the ERO with an additional handsome endowment from Mary Harriman.[1] In 1921 he was elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association.[6]

Davenport founded the International Federation of Eugenics Organizations (IFEO) in 1925, with Eugen Fischer as chairman of the Commission on Bastardization and Miscegenation (1927). Davenport aspired to found a World Institute for Miscegenations, and "was working on a 'world map' of the 'mixed-race areas,[7] which he introduced for the first time at a meeting of the IFEO in Munich in 1928."[8]

Together with his assistant Morris Steggerda, Davenport attempted to develop a comprehensive quantitative approach to human miscegenation. The results of their research was presented in the book Race Crossing in Jamaica (1929), which attempted to provide statistical evidence for biological and cultural degradation following interbreeding between white and black populations. Today it is considered a work of scientific racism, and was criticized in its time for drawing conclusions which stretched far beyond (and sometimes counter to) the data it presented.[9] Particularly caustic was the review of the book published by Karl Pearson at Nature, where he considered that "the only thing that is apparent in the whole of this lengthy treatise is that the samples are too small and drawn from too heterogeneous a population to provide any trustworthy conclusions at all".[10] The entire eugenics movement was criticized for being supposedly based on racist and classist assumptions set out to prove the unfitness of wide sections of the American population which Davenport and his followers considered "degenerate", using methods criticized even by British eugenicists as unscientific.[11][clarification needed] In 1907 and 1910 Charles Davenport and his wife wrote four essays that pertained to human hereditary genes. These essays included hair color, eye color, and skin pigmentation. These essays helped pave the way for eugenics to be taught in class. Many of the topics and discussions belonged to Dr. and Mrs. Charles Davenport but the information for one essay in particular came from friends of theirs involved in the same topic. Many problems occurred when they started to use other information. As Davenport and other eugenicist professors and experts began to and continued to study more in-depth eugenics, they had to start to come up with original ideas so as not to conflict with past ideas.[1]

After Adolf Hitler's rise to power in Germany, Davenport maintained connections with various Nazi institutions and publications, both before and during World War II. He held editorial positions at two influential German journals, both of which were founded in 1935, and in 1939 he wrote a contribution to the Festschrift for Otto Reche, who became an important figure in the plan to "remove" those populations considered "inferior" in eastern Germany.[12] In a 1938 Letter to the Editor of Life magazine, he included both Franklin Roosevelt and Joseph Goebbels as examples of crippled statesmen who, motivated by their physical defects, have "led revolutions and aspired to dictatorships while burdening their country with heavy taxes and reducing its finances to chaos."[13] He died of pneumonia in 1944.

Eugenics creed

As quoted in the National Academy of Sciences' "Biographical Memoir of Charles Benedict Davenport" by Oscar Riddle, Davenport's Eugenics creed was as follows:[14]

• "I believe in striving to raise the human race to the highest plane of social organization, of cooperative work and of effective endeavor."
• "I believe that I am the trustee of the germ plasm that I carry; that this has been passed on to me through thousands of generations before me; and that I betray the trust if (that germ plasm being good) I so act as to jeopardize it, with its excellent possibilities, or, from motives of personal convenience, to unduly limit offspring."
• "I believe that, having made our choice in marriage carefully, we, the married pair, should seek to have 4 to 6 children in order that our carefully selected germ plasm shall be reproduced in adequate degree and that this preferred stock shall not be swamped by that less carefully selected."
• "I believe in such a selection of immigrants as shall not tend to adulterate our national germ plasm with socially unfit traits."
• "I believe in repressing my instincts when to follow them would injure the next generation."


1. Allen, Garland E. "Charles Benedict Davenport". American National Biography Online.
2. Riddle, Oscar (1947). "Biographical Memoir of Charles Benedict Davenport, 1866-1944" (PDF). National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Biographical Memoirs.
3. "Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory". History. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
4. "Collection: Papers of Claiborne Catlin Elliman, 1914-1919 | HOLLIS for Archival Discovery". Retrieved 2019-09-27.
5. Davenport, C.B. (Oct 28, 1921). "Reaserch in Eugenics". Science. 54 (1400): 391–397. Bibcode:1921Sci....54..391D. doi:10.1126/science.54.1400.391. PMID 17735069.
6. List of ASA Fellows, retrieved 2016-07-16.
7. Kühl, Stefan, "Die Internationale der Rassisten." Aufstieg und Niedergang der internationalen Bewegung für Eugenik und rassenhygiene im 20. Jahrhundert, Frankfurt/Main 1997, p. 81.
8. Hans-Walter Schmul, The Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics, 1927-1945, Springer Science+Business Media, 2008, p.115.
9. Aaron Gillette, Eugenics and the Nature-Nurture Debate in the Twentieth Century (New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), p. 123-24.
10. Pearson, Karl (1930). "Race Crossing in Jamaica". Nature. 126 (3177): 427–429. doi:10.1038/126427a0.
11. Black, War Against the Weak, p. 99.
12. Kuhl, S. "The Nazi Connection; Eugenics, American Racism, and German National Socialism" (New York, Oxford UP, 1994).
13. "Letters to the Editor". Life. 1938-06-13. p. 2. Retrieved December 10, 2011.
14. Riddle, Oscar (1947). "Biographical Memoir of Charles Benedict Davenport 1866-1944" (PDF). National Academy of Sciences.

Further reading

• Spiro, Jonathan P. (2009). Defending the Master Race: Conservation, Eugenics, and the Legacy of Madison Grant. Univ. of Vermont Press. ISBN 978-1-58465-715-6. Lay summary (29 September 2010).
• Edwin Black, War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race, (New York / London: Four Walls Eight Windows, 2003)
• Elof Axel Carlson, "Times of triumph, Times of Doubt, science and the battle for the public trust", (Cold Spring Harbor; Cold Spring Harbor Press, 2006) ISBN 0-87969-805-5

External links

• Works by Charles Davenport at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Charles Davenport at Internet Archive
• "Biographical Memoir of Charles Benedict Davenport" by Oscar Riddle via this page on the website of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS)
• A Science Odyssey: People and Discoveries: Charles Davenport at
• International Eugenics
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Mon Mar 30, 2020 4:32 am

Eugenical News
Accessed: 3/29/20

Eugenical News was a 20th century publication of various American eugenics societies.

Publication History

Eugenical News began in 1916. No issue or contribution copyright renewals were found for this serial. It ran until 1953, when it was succeeded by the Eugenics Quarterly. The present-day successor to this journal is Biodemography and Social Biology.

Persistent Archives of Complete Issues

1916-1923: HathiTrust has volumes 1-8 freely readable online. Some later issues may be searchable but not readable here.
1916: The Internet Archive has volume 1.
1917: The Internet Archive has volume 2.
1918: The Internet Archive has volume 3.
1919: The Internet Archive has volume 4.
1920: The Internet Archive has volume 5.
1921: The Internet Archive has volume 6.
1922: The Internet Archive has volume 7.
1928: The Internet Archive has volume 13, number 7, dated July 1928.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Mon Mar 30, 2020 4:59 am

CIW [Carnegie Institution of Washington] Station for Experimental Evolution 1904-1921 [The Station for Experimental Evolution (SEE)]
by Library at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Accessed: 3/29/20

In 1903 the Carnegie Institution of Washington (CIW) approved a plan, put forward by Charles Davenport, to establish a biological experiment station to study evolution at Cold Spring Harbor. While he was already directing the neighboring Bio lab, he was named the first director (1904-1934) of the CIW’s Department of Genetics. It was originally named the Station for Experimental Evolution (SEE), and had formally opened on June 11, 1904, in Cold Spring Harbor, to study heredity and evolution through breeding experiments with plants and animals. In 1910, while Davenport was directing both operations, Mrs. E. H. Harriman established the Eugenics Record Office (ERO) at Cold Spring Harbor for him to head, as well. The ERO eventually became part of the Department of Genetics. (The CSHL Archives contains collections for BIAS Bio Lab, LIBA Bio Lab, and ERO.) Pictured below is the “Opening Day” of the Main Building of the CIW Station for Experimental Evolution, since renamed the Carnegie Building and home to the CSHL Library & Archives.


The Station for Experimental Evolution (SEE)
by Colette Leung, Erna Kurbegovic, and Amy Dyrbye
Accessed: 3/29/20

June 16, 1904. The Carnegie Institution of Washington hosts a gala dedication ceremony on the grounds of the Bio Lab to mark the formal opening of the Station for Experimental Evolution (SEE) at Cold Spring Harbor. The plans for the station had been suggested by eugenicist Charles Davenport, in 1903 (CSHL, 2015). It originally opened for the purposes of studying heredity and evolution, through experiments with plants and animals (CSHL, 2015). The station became a main research centre for American eugenics.

The Station was located on 9 acres of land, in Cold Spring Harbor. It was leased for 50 years upon the Station's opening, from the Wawepex [Wauwepex] Society (CSHL, 2014). Davenport served as director of the station, as well as Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and in 1910, the Eugenics Record Office, which would eventually become part of the Department of Genetics (CSHL, 2015).

The Station for Experimental Evolution was eventually renamed the Carnegie Building, and is currently home to the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Library & Archives (CSHL, 2015).
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Mon Mar 30, 2020 5:57 am

Report of the Operations of the Biological Laboratory [The Wauwepex Society]
by H.W. Conn, Ph.D., Commissioners of Fisheries
from Documents of the Assembly of the State of New York, Issues 35-42, by New York (State) Legislature Assembly

At the end of the 19th century, the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences founded a laboratory for training high school and college teachers in marine biology. As biologists and naturalists of that time worked out the consequences of Darwin’s theory of evolution, they often established their laboratories at the seashore, where there was an abundance of animals and plants for study. In 1889, John D. Jones [Wauwepex Society] gave land and buildings (formerly part of the Cold Spring Whaling Company) on the southwestern shore of Cold Spring Harbor to the Brooklyn Institute for Arts and Science (BIAS). BIAS used the Jones gift to established its presence in Cold Spring Harbor as the Biological Laboratory (Bio Lab) engaged in science research and training of secondary school teachers. In 1917 the Bio Lab officially became one of the four departments of the BIAS (along with the Brooklyn Art Museum, Brooklyn Botanical Garden and Brooklyn Zoo) and an endowment was raised from contributions of interested Cold Spring Harbor neighbors. In 1924 BIAS turned over the administration and ownership of the Biological Lab to the Cold Spring Harbor community and it incorporated as the Long Biological Association (LIBA). LIBA was initially administered by Director Reginald Harris, and continued as a scientific research and educational institution, funded by local residents and a far reaching list of private donors.

-- Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences: The Biological Laboratory Collection, by Archives at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

As director of the biological laboratory for the session of 1892, I will present the following report:

The laboratory has been in session for eight weeks, from July sixth to August twenty eighth, as announced in the prospectus. During that time, the following persons have been present as instructors or lecturers:

Board of Instruction.

Professor Herbert W. Conn, Ph.D., Wesleyan University, director of the laboratory.

Professor Charles W. Hargitt, Ph.D., Syracuse University, associate director.

Professor Henry L. Osborn, Ph.D., Hamline University, associate director.


Professor Henry F. Osborn, Columbia College.
Professor John B. Smith, Rutgers College.
Professor Byron D. Halstead, Rutgers College.
Dr. Thomas Morong, Columbia College, Herbarium.
Professor Franklin W. Hooper, Brooklyn Institute.
Professor Julius Nelson, Rutgers College.

As students in the laboratory, taking the regular courses, there have been present fifteen persons, as follows:

Louis Curtis Ager, student, Long Island Hospital.
E.V. Agramonte, M.D., physician, New York city.
Miss Ida W. Aikman, teacher, Brooklyn.
Miss Martha T. Austin, teacher, Easthampton, Mass.
John T. Barnhart, instructor, Wesleyan University.
Miss Edith M. Brace, student, University of Nebraska.
Miss Lillie C. Brown, teacher, New Britain, Conn.
Duncan S. Johnson, instructor, Wesleyan University.
Franklin T. Kurt, student, Wesleyan University.
James T. O’Connor, M.D., Ph.D., physician, New York city.
Mrs. James T. O’Connor, M.D., clinical professor, New York Medical College and Hospital for Women.
Miss M. Josephine Shepard, teacher, Brooklyn.
Miss Elizabeth M. Sturgis, student, New York city.
William W. Vibbart, student, Trinity College.
Walter S. Watson, student, Wesleyan University.

During the summer the work at the laboratory has been as follows:

First. A course in general zoology. – The outline of this course has been practically the same as that of the course given during the previous year, and has consisted of daily lectures and laboratory excercises. For reasons which were given in my last report, the course of regular class instruction lasted only the first six weeks of the session, the last two weeks being devoted to more independent work on the part of the students upon special subjects of their own choosing. This course in zoology has been given conjointly by the director and the associate directors. Professor Hargitt has conducted the work upon protozoa, coelentera and echinoderma. Professor Osborn has had charge of the work upon molluska and arthropoda, and Professor Conn, the work upon vermes, annelid and vertebrates. Nearly all of the students in the laboratory took the whole of this course.

Second. A course of practical work in bacteriology. – This course has been like that of last year, and has consisted of elementary instruction in bacteriological methods, such as making culture fluids, staining bacteria, etc. No definite instruction has been given, but personal direction to those wishing work along this line.

Third. A course of twelve lectures has been given by Professor Conn upon the history of bacteriology. This course has been a popular course, designed for all persons present at the laboratory, and has given an elementary outline of the history of the development of the study of bacteriology and of all the important facts discovered up to the present time.

Fourth. A large amount of miscellaneous work has been done by different members of the party. It has included staining and mounting microscopic specimens, section cutting, and other work in historical technique, the study of embryology of several types, study of flowers and preparing of herbaria, and a large amount of general zoology and collecting.

Fifth. Original investigations have been undertaken by members of the laboratory staff and by some of the visitors from other colleges. The work has comprised the following subjects: Study of the new species of hydroids; the embryological development of crustacean; systematic study of salt water protozoa; bacteriological study of a disease attacking the trout in the fish hatchery.

Sixth. In addition to the regular work, a number of miscellaneous lectures have been given in the laboratory. These have been as follows:

By Professor F.W. Hooper, “Agassiz at Penakese.”

By Dr. Morong, “Orchidaceae.” Under the guidance of Dr. Morong, three botanical excursions have been taken by those interested in botany.

By Professor Julius Nelson, of Rutgers College, two lectures, as follows: “The Fundamental Character of Protoplasm;” “Heredity of Sex.”

By Professor Conn, one lecture on “Modern Theories of Heredity.”

These lectures have been attended by all of the students in the laboratory and have been supplementary to the regular work.

Seventh. The course of evening lectures, have been even more successful during the present year. The Wauwepex Society, founded by Mr. John D. Jones, during the last year, has fitted up for the use of the laboratory, a pleasant lecture room accommodating about 120 persons. It is near the hatchery and conveniently located for the people of Cold Spring Harbor. A lantern for lecture illustrations has been furnished by the Brooklyn Institute and a large number of lantern slides have been made use of by the various lecturers. The slides have been partly furnished by the Brooklyn Institute, partly by the different lecturers and have been partly made at the laboratory. The number of lectures during the summer has been sixteen, nearly all of which have been illustrated by the use of the lantern. The attendance on these lectures has been large, the hall being filled in some cases, and a good sized audience being always present. The interest in the lectures has constantly grown during the summer and the last two lectures were more fully attended than any of the others. The people of Cold Spring Harbor evidently have appreciated the kindness of the different lecturers in giving these lectures, and the interest taken in them has testified to the increasing popularity of the laboratory among the people of the place. The lectures for the summer have been as follows:

July fifth, by Professor Conn: “Biological Laboratories in General and the Cold Spring Laboratory in Particular.”

July fourteenth, Professor F.W. Hooper, of the Brooklyn Institute: “The Geology of the White Mountains.” Illustrated.

July fifteenth, Professor C.W. Hargitt, of Syracuse University: “Coral Islands.” Illustrated.

July nineteenth, Professor F.W. Hooper: “The Geology of the Adirondacks.” Illustrated.

July twenty first, Professor Byron D. Halsted, of Rutgers College: “The Dissemination and Dispersal of Plant Offspring.” Illustrated.

July twenty-sixth, Dr. Thomas Morong, of Columbia College Herbarium: “The Geography of the La Platta, its People and its Flora.” Illustrated.

July twenty-eighth, Dr. Thomas Morong: “Life of the La Platta, Extinct and Existing.” Illustrated.

August second, Professor C.W. Hargitt: “The Origin of the Soil.” Illustrated.

August third, Professor Julius Nelson, of Rutgers College: “The Development of the Chick.” Illustrated.

August fourth, Professor John B. Smith, of Ruters College: “The Respiratory and Nervous System of Insects.” Illustrated.

August fifth, Professor John B. Smith: “Digestive Structures and Habits of Insects.” Illustrated.

August ninth, Professor H.T. Osborn, of Columbia College: “Studies in Evolution.”

August eleventh, Professor H.L. Osborn, of Hamline University: “Structural Adaptation and Habits Among Rodents.” Illustrated.

August sixteenth, Professor H.W. Conn: “The Danger of Interfering with Nature.” Illustrated.

August eighteenth, Professor H.W. Conn: “Methods of Defense Among Animals.” Illustrated.

During the summer, several conferences were held by the director with the members of the Wauwepex Society, in reference to the erection of a laboratory building for the use of the school. At the request of the secretary of that society sketch plans were prepared by the director, with the aid of Professor Hooper, and these plans have been submitted to the Wauwepex Society and are now in their hands. The generosity of this society, their interest in our work and their evident desire to erect a building for us, gives every hope that a building for the purpose will be erected during the coming year. This society intends also to improve the general accommodations for students by furnishing better lodging quarters and comfortable boarding arrangements.


Report of the Cold Spring Harbor Station
by Fred Mather, Superintendent
from Documents of the Assembly of the State of New York, Issues 35-42, by New York (State) Legislature Assembly

To the Commissioners of Fisheries of New York:

Gentlemen. – The following is a statement of the operations at this station for the year ending September 30, 1892.

The new pond mentioned in last report was finished this year, but the water has not been let in it. The work of shad hatching on the Hudson left the station short-handed in May and June and the appropriation did not allow the hiring of other men for work on the grounds. During July and August Peter Gorman was on the payroll of the Biological Laboratory and only after September first did new work begin. In May stone for walls was procured and a portion of it used to build a wall in the fresh-water reservoir on the west side, to widen the walk there.

The output from the station was, in eggs, fry and adult fish of the several kinds, 7,685,866, exclusive of 2,436,000 shad planted in the Hudson. The details of the different species and the plantings will be given farther on.

The Biological Laboratory of the Brooklyn Institute held its session in the hatchery again during July and August by day, but had an old building refitted for the popular evening lectures, where the seating capacity was greater and where a higher ceiling gave better facilities for stereopticon views. The naphtha launch owned by the laboratory was loaned us and was very useful. The launch was disabled early in the season and had to be sent to New York for repairs, or we might have obtained more lobster eggs than we did.

Brooklyn Institute of arts and sciences -- Biological laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island ... Announcement for the summer of 1904, fifteenth season, illus. 22cm. [n.p., 1904]

An event in the fish cultural history of the State was the fitting of the railway car “Adirondack” with apparatus for shad hatching, an account of which will be found under a subhead.

Railroad and Express Companies

This year we were again under obligations to Mr. Austin Corbin for passes for our men and cans over the Long Island railroad and to Mr. M.H. Hubbell, superintendent of the Long Island Express Company, who promptly forwarded our cans to other railroads.

The National Express Company, through its vice-president and general manager, Col. Locke W. Winchester, gave us the privilege of their cars for our cans and messengers, as in former years.

The Epidemic of 1890

In 1891 there was no appearance of this disease (see twentieth report, pp. 44-49) except in a few individual trout, perhaps a dozen, and at as many intervals. This year something of the kind appeared but was, with rare exceptions, confined to the rainbow and brook trout yearlings. A loss occurred during May and June, when I was absent in part, fitting the car for shad hatching and was short-handed; not in July and August, as in 1890. This loss was seldom accompanied by a sore on the skin as in 1890.

In my last report I showed (pp. 44-49) that this disease covered a wide territory, and had been observed by many trout breeders who had never mentioned it publicly, and also that such occurrences were not confined to trout, but extended to other fishes, both in fresh and salt water. Since the last report was written I have the following letters:

New York, February 6, 1892.

Mr. Fred Mather:

Dear Sir. – Mr. Cheney wrote you regarding a disease that is carrying off some of our three inch trout at Madison, Conn., but he did not have all the facts. There is no fungus about it, for I have had specimens of dead fish sent to me. We have the fry in charred tanks, ten by three feet, supplied by running water, in which the native trout do well. There are about 1,000 fish to each tank. Older trout in a larger pond, covered in and supplied with the same water after it has run through the first house, are O.K., and we have not lost a fish since last June, and, up to the present time, the little fellows are well. They are affected thus: A trout will by lying, apparently well and happy, in the current and will suddenly dash about and then come back to its place. This is repeated several times and death takes place in four or five hours. This looks like some irritation or congestion of the cerebro-spinal system, but my books are silent in regard to the malady. Can you write me as to its prevention and cure? Whatever you may write will be deeply appreciated.

Yours cordially.
(Signed.) John D. Quackenbos.

I replied to Dr. Quackenbos that I had seen such deaths often, but the epidemic of 1890 seemed different; the darting, turning on the side and turning belly up for hours and even days before death were seldom accompanied by the white spot which developed into a hole as described in my last report and which marked the epidemic of 1890, as I call it, for lack of a better name, and described it in more detail, assuring him that I was then, as now, ignorant of its cause or cure. Under date of February 15, 1892, Dr. Quackenbos wrote again as follows:

Mr. Fred Mather:

Dear Sir. – Your letter was received and read with interest. Mr. Cheney forwarded to me the letters which you sent him, and I like your clean cut way of dealing with the conflicting accounts of symptoms. Beach and Bartlett are now assimilating what you have written.

Cordially yours,

(Signed.) John D. Quackenbox.

One of the curious things in this connection is the fact that in 1892 we had an experience similar to that at Meridan, Conn., the year before, as related by Dr. Quackenbos. We lost numbers of yearlings from three to five inches in length which were, as at Meridan, above the larger fish where the loss was lighter. In 1891 there was the usual mortality that is always present among fish as among other live stock.

Mr. Charles G. Atkins, superintendent of the United States salmon station, at Craigs Brook, Maine, wrote me about an epidemic among his salmon fry which occurred this year and was similar, if not identical, with one that I described in the eleventh report of the American Fish Cultural Association (1882), pages 7-11, but as this was not the same as the scourge of 1890 I pass it.

Another cause of mortality among trout in ponds tempts me to speak of it. In answer to my circular of last year came a response from Mr. G.M. Robinson, Mammoth Springs, Ark., who, under date of May 26, 1891, writes:

Mr. Fred Mather:

Dear Sir. – Pray excuse this delay in answering your circular but will say: The disease which you mention is new to me, have never seen a trout so affected. My experience in this locality is limited, but I notice that the brook trout in this locality are subject to a disease which I have noticed before. It occurs during the summer months and the eye of the fish becomes inflamed and protrudes from the head fully one quarter of an inch, sometimes only one eye and occasionally both. They linger and after some months will die. We call it the big-eye.* [I never had a name for this, but my foreman, Mr. Walters, came very near Mr. Robinson’s name when he christened it “bug-eye,” merely the difference of a letter. F.M.]

This “big eye” caused a company at this place, called the Mammoth Springs Fish Farm Company+ [This is the company which exhibited trout in Fulton market, New York, last spring and caused so much astonishment that our brook trout could live as far south as Arkansas. F.M.] to lose large numbers of trout last summer. We laid it to overfeeding and have reduced the food and will soon change it entirely to natural food such as fresh-water shrimp and minnows which can be furnished in large quantities here.

Very truly.

(Signed.) E.M. Robinson.

This “big eye” or “bug eye” is a familiar disease to me and I believe that I know its cause. In a recent report of the Wisconsin Fish Commission this disease is spoken of as very prevalent, and it was with me at my private trout ponds at Honeoye Falls, Monroe County, N.Y., 1868 to 1876. A look at the picture of the ponds at the Wisconsin Commission shows that they are parallelograms with vertical stone walls on both sides and ends, exactly as mine were built, and the trout when alarmed from any cause would strike the walls squarely with their noses and the concussion caused inflammation of the optic never, or nerves, and the result would be the protrusion and loss of one or both eyes and usually death. I have long ceased building ponds with four vertical sides or with square ends.

Fish Food.

In all my former reports I have mentioned this subject and have been continually on the lookout for the best and cheapest food. We began feeding soft clams (Mya arenaria) and mussels (Mytilus edulis), and continued it for several years until the supply was running short in the harbor and people complained that we were getting more than our share. Then I tried beef livers, sent from New York city, but the supply was not regular and the express charges made the cost too high. See last report, pp. 49-50. Since November, 1891, we have been feeding horse beef, which is delivered at the station, free from fat and bone, for four cents per pound. I am not prepared to say how this will suit on only one season’s trial. Our fish of last spring’s hatch did not grow as large as those in former years did, and there might be other causes besides the food. The older fish have done fairly well on it and I would prefer to try it another year before either praising or condemning it.

Brook Trout.

From forty female trout we took 83,365 eggs the size of which varied from 300 to 530 to the fluid ounce. There being in all 194 ounces the average size was a trifle less than 430 eggs to the ounce. The fish began spawning on November fourth and ended on December seventh, and only on eighteen days between these dates, did we take eggs.

We received 20,000 eggs from the Caledonia Station on December twenty-fifth, and on January nineteenth, we received 75,000 eggs from the South Side Sportsmen’s Club, of long Island, in exchange for eggs of brown trout. This made a total of 178,000 eggs. There were many unimpregnated eggs this year and this swelled the loss, which in eggs and fry amounted to over 64,000. We planted 78,600 as per table. On November nineteenth, I sent Messrs. Walters and Rogers to Smithtown to try to get eggs from the grounds of the Brush club. They stayed there over a week without result…..

Death of Hon. Dr. von Behr

I cannot close without noticing the death of our good friend and patron of fish culture, Dr. Friederich Felix von Behr, President of the German Fishery Association, and one of the most active men to promote the interests of fish culture not only in his own land but in all others. As a friend of our late lamented Professor Spencer F. Baird, he inaugurated a system of international exchanges of fish and fishcultural literature that was productive of great good and was continued until both these great men died. It was to Baron von Behr that I owed the personal present of the first brown trout eggs that were sent to America, a species which now are so common. A half forgotten remark to him in 1879 that the fish I had taken in the Black Forest should be introduced into America if opportunity offered, brought a consignment of eggs when he heard that I was in charge of a hatchery station in 1883. His death on January 13, 1892, was a loss to fish culture the world over.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

Fred Mather
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Mon Mar 30, 2020 7:44 am

Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences: The Biological Laboratory Collection
by Archives at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Accessed: 2/20/20


At the end of the 19th century, the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences founded a laboratory for training high school and college teachers in marine biology. As biologists and naturalists of that time worked out the consequences of Darwin’s theory of evolution, they often established their laboratories at the seashore, where there was an abundance of animals and plants for study. In 1889, John D. Jones [Wauwepex Society] gave land and buildings (formerly part of the Cold Spring Whaling Company) on the southwestern shore of Cold Spring Harbor to the Brooklyn Institute for Arts and Science (BIAS). BIAS used the Jones gift to established its presence in Cold Spring Harbor as the Biological Laboratory (Bio Lab) engaged in science research and training of secondary school teachers. In 1917 the Bio Lab officially became one of the four departments of the BIAS (along with the Brooklyn Art Museum, Brooklyn Botanical Garden and Brooklyn Zoo) and an endowment was raised from contributions of interested Cold Spring Harbor neighbors. In 1924 BIAS turned over the administration and ownership of the Biological Lab to the Cold Spring Harbor community and it incorporated as the Long Biological Association (LIBA). LIBA was initially administered by Director Reginald Harris, and continued as a scientific research and educational institution, funded by local residents and a far reaching list of private donors.

The course of evening lectures, have been even more successful during the present year. The Wauwepex Society, founded by Mr. John D. Jones, during the last year, has fitted up for the use of the laboratory, a pleasant lecture room accommodating about 120 persons. It is near the hatchery and conveniently located for the people of Cold Spring Harbor. A lantern for lecture illustrations has been furnished by the Brooklyn Institute and a large number of lantern slides have been made use of by the various lecturers. The slides have been partly furnished by the Brooklyn Institute, partly by the different lecturers and have been partly made at the laboratory. The number of lectures during the summer has been sixteen, nearly all of which have been illustrated by the use of the lantern. The attendance on these lectures has been large, the hall being filled in some cases, and a good sized audience being always present. The interest in the lectures has constantly grown during the summer and the last two lectures were more fully attended than any of the others. The people of Cold Spring Harbor evidently have appreciated the kindness of the different lecturers in giving these lectures, and the interest taken in them has testified to the increasing popularity of the laboratory among the people of the place.

-- Report of the Operations of the Biological Laboratory [The Wauwepex Society], by H.W. Conn, Ph.D., Commissioners of Fisheries

The collection represents material generated, accumulated, and maintained by the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences (BIAS) Biological Laboratory founded in 1890 for training high school and college teachers in marine biology in Cold Spring Harbor, New York. The BIAS Biological Laboratory Collection ends in 1924 when the Biological Lab and its functions were transferred to the Long Island Biological Association.

These records have been stored on site since their creation, originally in administrative offices under various Laboratory Directors until their removal to the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Library and Archives. Documents within the collection identify these records as those belonging to the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences - The Biological Laboratory. During most of its existence the organization shared directors, certain staff and buildings, with three related peer institutions: 1) Carnegie Institute of Washington 2) Eugenics Record Office (established as a separate entity in 1910, but whose building, files and records were donated to Carnegie Institution of Washington in 1918); and 3) The Long Island Biological Association. This shared leadership created an intermingling of these institutions’ administrative files. Where folders were clearly identifiable as belonging to another institution as determined by date, person, or subject, the processing archivists removed the folders for placement in the relevant Related Collections. Where folders contained material which overlapped multiple collections, the folder was kept in this collection and reference notes added. It is recommended that this collection be researched in conjunction with Related Collections. This collection was processed in June 2012.

The Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences – The Biological Laboratory Collection is composed of material accrued in the administration of the Bio Lab by director Dr. Charles B. Davenport with the close guidance and funding by the Bio Lab trustees. These materials have been moved several times through various lab administrations and research projects and were not in original order. These documents include the Bio Lab Trustee series, consisting of one box of minutes of 1898-1922 reflecting fiscal, administrative and curriculum issues. Nine boxes of documents from the administration of the summer and year-round biological study programs 1898 – 1922 comprise the Bio Lab Administrative series. These two series reflect historically interesting facets of a scientific institution that survived privatization, World War I and fiscal challenges of a tuition-financed educational institution. The BIAS Trustee series is one box of material documenting the oversight by BIAS, the parent organization. These minutes reflect the arts and science entities within BIAS that were competing for resources and the eventual 1924 launch of the independent successor institution, the Long Island Biological Association. The fourth series, Bio Lab Account Ledgers consists of 4 boxes of ledgers with detailed handwritten entries of students’ information, finances and sundry items. These ledgers provide an overall depiction of life during the beginning of the twentieth century in Cold Spring Harbor. Documents found in this collection reflect the interaction and interrelationship of this Biological Laboratory with the Village and citizens of Laurel Hollow, the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences and the neighboring institution the Carnegie Institute of Washington Station for Experimental Evolution.

The Collection is organized into four series:

Series 1: Biological Laboratory Trustees (1898-1922)
Series 2: Bio Lab Administrative (1890-1922)
Series 3: BIAS Trustees (1915-1924)
Series 4: Bio Lab Account Ledgers (1902-1941)
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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Family, Finance, And The Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company, 1836-1862 [John H. Jones/Walter R. Jones]
by Jenna Wallace Coplin
Long Island History Journal
15 August 2016

At the end of the 19th century, the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences founded a laboratory for training high school and college teachers in marine biology. As biologists and naturalists of that time worked out the consequences of Darwin’s theory of evolution, they often established their laboratories at the seashore, where there was an abundance of animals and plants for study. In 1889, John D. Jones [Wauwepex Society] gave land and buildings (formerly part of the Cold Spring Whaling Company) on the southwestern shore of Cold Spring Harbor to the Brooklyn Institute for Arts and Science (BIAS). BIAS used the Jones gift to established its presence in Cold Spring Harbor as the Biological Laboratory (Bio Lab) engaged in science research and training of secondary school teachers. In 1917 the Bio Lab officially became one of the four departments of the BIAS (along with the Brooklyn Art Museum, Brooklyn Botanical Garden and Brooklyn Zoo) and an endowment was raised from contributions of interested Cold Spring Harbor neighbors. In 1924 BIAS turned over the administration and ownership of the Biological Lab to the Cold Spring Harbor community and it incorporated as the Long Biological Association (LIBA). LIBA was initially administered by Director Reginald Harris, and continued as a scientific research and educational institution, funded by local residents and a far reaching list of private donors....

During most of its existence the organization shared directors, certain staff and buildings, with three related peer institutions: 1) Carnegie Institute of Washington 2) Eugenics Record Office (established as a separate entity in 1910, but whose building, files and records were donated to Carnegie Institution of Washington in 1918); and 3) The Long Island Biological Association. This shared leadership created an intermingling of these institutions’ administrative files.

-- Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences: The Biological Laboratory Collection, by Archives at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Abstract: In 1836, John H. and Walter R. Jones, along with 33 other investors, purchased the first of several whaling ships in a small fleet that would become eventually known as the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company. Local networks shaped the way the Jones brothers and their investors took advantage of changes in the national economy. By combining local, traditional business relationships with the benefits of incorporation, the brothers provided opportunities for the local community. Its members, who otherwise would not have been able to invest, benefited from involvement in the golden age of whaling. This may have stimulated capital growth during a period of general instability, easing the transition toward industry. The result contributed to Cold Spring Harbor’s enduring identity as both a whaling community and an industrial town.

Located on the north shore of Long Island not 40 miles east of Manhattan, Cold Spring Harbor, at the beginning of the 19th century, was a small community that was home to a lesser-known whaling business run by John H. and Walter R. Jones. These brothers, along with a long list of investors, oversaw forty-four voyages with nine ships. A small firm by New Bedford or even Sag Harbor standards, the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company lasted more than twenty-five years and changed the community in durable ways. Many questions regarding the company, its investors, and its sailors remain. However, one thing is clear: John and Walter Jones, despite having no actual whaling experience, made some savvy choices that benefited all those involved.

The Jones Brothers’ Background

By the early 19th century, Walter R. Jones and older brother John H. Jones were partners in key Cold Spring Harbor businesses. These included a gristmill, a general store, and two woolen mills, all businesses built by the previous generation. Motivated by the slow decline of their award-winning mill and a drop in flour prices, both turns caused by domestic and international economic factors, the brothers made a dramatic and potentially risky business decision. They started a new venture: the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company.

The foundations for their new endeavor were laid by the previous generation, when their parents, John Jones and Hannah Hewlett, married in 1779, conjoining two influential local families. While theirs was a predictable union, the families seemed particularly close-knit even considering the customs of the time as they intermarried, deeded land to one another, and engaged in shared business ventures. Unlike some Long Island movers-and-shakers, however, they extended their influence beyond the north shore of Long Island. The families made their mark in New York City as well as in Albany, becoming judges, justices of the peace, and businessmen. Political and religious concerns during this tumultuous time may have encouraged the families to forge closer bonds.[1] Many Long Island families found themselves split along political and religious lines. Regardless, these relationships were the base of industry in the region. The Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company, a successful venture, was part of a larger web of economic choices made by the families.

Between 1819 and 1825, both families shifted their holdings in the gristmill and the two woolen mills. They also transferred deeds to various properties, including shoreline parcels to the next generation. After these changes, John H. and Walter R. Jones were responsible for a substantial portion of family undertakings. Both brothers had demonstrated business acumen and dedication to the family’s well being.

Walter R. Jones, born in 1793, became increasingly involved in the marine insurance business during this time, joining the first Atlantic Insurance Company in 1824 as an associate of Archibald Gracie.[2] On April 15, 1828, Walter was appointed trustee to oversee the dissolution of the company – something that would not be resolved until long after his death in 1855. During his time, Walter helped settle the company’s debts and even paid capital stockholders dividends, avoiding litigation – a popular tool at the time.

The second Atlantic Insurance Company was founded in 1829, with Walter R. Jones named as President.[3] The second company, later reorganized and renamed Atlantic Mutual, became fantastically successful, reaping profits of more than six million dollars in the ten years after its conversion.[4] The company remained in business until 2011 and many of the Jones family members were integral over the years. Walter’s experience with managing risk and returns for investors certainly played a key role in family choices going forward. He was well known in New York City and although his funeral took place at Trinity Church, he remained connected to Cold Spring Harbor and was buried there.[5]

John H. Jones, born in 1785, spent much of his childhood living with and caring for his grandfather and namesake, John Hewlett, who died in 1812.[6] Before Hewlett’s death, his son, John H. Jones’ maternal uncle, Devine Hewlett, deeded property on the east side of the harbor to John, who was just 19 at the time. His father held the trust. When the property was transferred three years later, in 1807, the parcel included additional land John received from a cousin on the west side of the harbor for his son. In 1810, his parents also gave him an interest in the lower mill, associated dam and canal, the gristmill, its site, and half the Cooper shop, as well as shore and harbor rights.

That same year, John H. Jones married Loretta, daughter of Devine and Ann Hewlett. The property became John and Loretta’s home. It also became the site of the general store. That store eventually served as the core of the Jones brothers’ whaling endeavor. John provisioned the whaling ships moving from Cold Spring to New York as needed.[7] Like the majority of their business partners, John H. Jones remained a farmer. He even was awarded honors for growing the largest pumpkin in 1852 at the 11th Annual Exhibition of the Queens County Agricultural Society in Flushing. It weighed in at more than 175 pounds![8] Like his brother and partner Walter, John cared about those they chose to do business with, many of whom were relatives and neighbors. Neither brother had any experience actually whaling. Working as a team, the brothers brought together land, existing businesses, and financial acumen to found the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company.

Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company

A discussion of Cold Spring Harbor’s whaling history can be a convoluted affair. The brothers and their investors blended tools emerging from the new economy with traditional business relationships to form a hybrid firm. Together with investors, they purchased two ships, one in 1836 and the second a year later. This represented a significant investment in a short period of time. The first ship, the Monmouth, required outfitting to make it suitable, as it was not originally a whaler. The Tuscarora, already a proven whaling ship, was purchased from the Billings brothers, the ship’s captain, and another investor—all of New London. N. & W.W. Billings was among the most successful whaling firms in that port. Built in 1819, the Tuscarora was already an old ship, but came fully rigged.[9]

Both of these purchases involved an unusual number of investors for the time. According to Hilt, the average number of owners invested in a single vessel at the time was nine – but the Monmouth had thirty-three.[10] Together, the two ships had 50 investors, with many individuals investing in both. It could be argued this was less a partnership and more a community affair.

The year following the purchase of the Monmouth, a recession began, which lasted until the mid 1840s. This period of economic unevenness, emanating from New York City, was felt keenly in the whaling industry. The lack of capital generally available may have required a larger number of investors. The large number of investors may have supported the firm’s quick growth. Regardless, the Jones brothers, including eldest brother William, several community members, and their New York lawyer, joined together in a wave of incorporation becoming popular in the whaling business.

An Act of Incorporation, passed on March 24, 1838, cleared the way for the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company.[11] It was at this point that the company bought the Monmouth and Tuscarora from the initial investors. However, it did not have the minimum amount of initial capital dictated by the Act to legally begin operations. This was no deterrent, and the ships still went out. Groups of investors, rather than the company itself, went on to purchase more ships. It was not until after a second legislative act passed in 1840, revising the initial capital investment downward, that the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company officially began operations.[12] At least six voyages had already been made.

Strictly speaking, before 1840, the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company was incorporated but unable to do business. Each voyage, therefore, was treated as a separate venture, like those of traditional whaling companies. The Jones brothers and investors bought six more ships between 1843 and 1845. The final addition to the fleet came in 1852. All voyages except those made by the two ships owned by the corporation –– the Tuscarora and the Monmouth –– were traditional whaling ventures. After 1840, whaling out of Cold Spring Harbor was not a company business but a hybrid community affair. These choices highlight how Long Islanders put together economic opportunities emanating from the city and traditional relationships to engage the new economy they faced mid-century.

It was well known that whaling offered potential high returns for investors but carried great risks. Large outlays of credit or cash were required to outfit a whaler for a voyage. Ships wrecked due to storms or human error may not have had enough cargo to satisfy creditors or crew, much less to compensate investors. Investments in the two “corporate” ships were protected by limited liability, as outlined in the Act of Incorporation.

The history of legislation regarding incorporation demonstrated changing concerns for both investors and creditors over time. The question focused on the weight of responsibility for debts amassed by a company. When companies dissolved, in the case of unlimited liability, creditors could seek payment from investors regardless of their initial outlay. In this situation, a small investor could literally be risking everything he owned. This initial concern for creditors shifted more toward protection for investors –– who rarely saw compensation. The development of limited liability held investor responsibility to a level equal to their investment, protecting them from open-ended exposure to the company’s debts. This change also encouraged smaller investors by protecting them. With a limited initial outlay, small investors could make even a little capital work, without risking everything if disaster occurred.

This may have been a consideration for Cold Spring Harbor. In 1841, 12 of the company’s 50 stockholders owned fewer than five shares. The shift toward limited liability was advantageous for these small investors, particularly in the case of a whaling company –– where capital investments were almost as great as the risk involved. The outfitting ships often required could only be accomplished with large lines of credit. These debts were paired against the profitability of any particular voyage. Limited liability decreased exposure to losses beyond what investors chose to risk in the first place. For Cold Spring Harbor, most local investors were farmers whose source of capital, and therefore family wealth, was land. Protecting land from a company’s creditors would have been in the forefront of everyone’s mind. Limited liability allowed investors to risk only what they could bear to lose.

However, discussing Cold Spring Harbor whaling as a single corporate venture obscures much of the complexity of whaling in the region. While the Jones brothers were certainly a driving force, many others helped make it happen. For example, in 1840, investors with the surname Jones comprised only 16% of the total number of stockholders. Together, they owned only 22% of the outstanding stock. The Hewletts represented an additional 10%, with less than 5% of the outstanding stock. Together, the extended families, including members of the Jones, Hewlett, Cole, Gardiner, and Gracie families, owned less than 31% of Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company stock in 1840.[13] The Jones family members were neither detached company directors seeking to take advantage of corporate protection nor were they big investors using the company as a type of family trust.

John and Walter’s intentions in entering the whaling business are unclear, not to mention curious. In 1836, its first year of involvement, Cold Spring Harbor joined thirty-four other whaling ports, a year when New Bedford alone launched 66 whalers. This count does not include those ships not yet returned from voyages begun in years prior. The golden age of American whaling was arguably approaching a saturation point, conditions that could drive prices down and potentially put firms out of business. Whaling was at this point a business full of experienced competitors, where risks were occasionally incalculable. Four years into what was otherwise a traditional whaling venture, the Jones brothers, accompanied by local investors and New York business contacts, chose to incorporate a portion of the business, joining a wave of new whaling firms. However, they had no actual whaling experience, a hybrid firm structure, and a large number of investors to keep happy.[14]

Whaling Companies in the 1830s

Traditional whaling ventures were often referred to as “companies,” possibly due to arrangements of shared ownership. However, these more closely resembled partnerships, rather than formal corporations. Incorporation at this time required an act of legislature. Unlike today, where a company registers as a corporate entity in a particular state, a business seeking to incorporate proposed a bill before legislature who in turn dictated the general structure of the company and terms for the sale of stock. Beginning in the 1830s, entrepreneurs increasingly sought incorporation as a tool for financing whaling ventures. However, in a study of 846 voyages of incorporated firms, Hilt concluded that none of these corporations lasted beyond the 1840s and few were profitable.[15] Incorporation of whaling companies, according to Hilt’s study, typically placed a corporate structure on top of traditional whaling ventures, rather than reorganizing company relationships top to bottom. In these cases, the people who were key to a voyage’s success did not fare as well. Agents’ compensation, for example, declined from a peak of as much as 44 % interests in partnerships to as little as 5% in corporate ventures. By taking on this structure, Hilt argues, owners decreased the motivation for agents to act in the interest of all those invested.

Hilt found other problematic commonalities among those who chose to incorporate whaling ventures. More often founded by newcomers, these companies were based in areas new to whaling. This served to compound the already substantial outlays facing any voyage by adding inexperience and higher costs for outfitting ships in non-specialized ports. Higher local production costs came in the form of increased time, the necessity of retooling existing products and producing new ones, and sourcing new materials. Alternately, expenses incurred purchasing needed supplies from elsewhere included added transportation costs. This meant a larger haul was required to pay creditors and crew before turning a profit.

In some ways, Cold Spring Harbor reflected these problematic commonalities. The port was certainly new to whaling, as were the Jones brothers. The local economy was not built to support whaling, lacking the local industries of New Bedford or even Sag Harbor. However, the Jones family had resources other than capital that they were willing to contribute. Barrels were made for whale oil as well as for flour by the family-owned cooper shop, and the family’s mills began to produce rough cloth for sailors’ clothes. This offset some of the higher costs of doing business.

Thanks to his diverse business dealings, Walter realized the myriad things that could go wrong with a high-risk venture like whaling. This was despite his lack of firsthand experience. Not only concerned with material losses, in 1849, he was elected the first President of the Life Saving Benevolent Association, an organization that made ready supplies needed to save lives in case of a shipwreck.[16] These activities would have kept him informed about costs, as well as enabling him to build business relationships with suppliers. Dry goods merchant Abner Chichester, for example, was a large stakeholder in the Cold Springs Harbor Whaling Company, owning almost 5% of the stock. Walter also took advantage of his other relationships in New York City. Five voyages set sail from there, allowing ships to be outfitted in that port and potentially avoiding difficulties with customs.

The critical distinction between the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company and others of its time is found in its organization. Instead of placing a corporate structure on top of a traditional firm, the brothers formed a hybrid company that extended the blending of traditional and corporate ventures. First, John H. Jones served as the company agent. In this way, motivation to perform was as high as in traditional firms. Next, there was little distinction between investors in the company and its directors, as noted. William and Walter R. Jones were tied as the second largest single investors, and many other investors were local farmers in the area.

By comparison, the Staten Island Whaling Company, which was incorporated at the same time, had little local involvement. To the contrary, members of the surrounding community expressed deep reservations about the company. Much of their anxiety centered on the overlap between local bank directors and proposed directors of the whaling company. The Staten Island Whaling Company made at least one voyage and built a processing plant in the port that burnt down. It seems that not only was the company unsuccessful but that community concerns about it were warranted. Long after it ceased operations, the company apparently continued to deal in and transfer bonds, actions that landed it in the New York State Supreme Court.[17]

Cold Spring Harbor’s initial investors availed themselves of new options afforded by incorporation and kept key components of traditional firms intact. The owners’ assessment for the sale of the Tuscarora to the company detailed accounting from the 1840 change of ownership and included old subscribers for both the Tuscarora and Monmouth. Subscribers at the time all became shareholders in the company and appear on the formal list of investors. Subscribers to the Tuscarora were charged a fee per share –– a fee not charged to Monmouth subscribers. That column was labeled as lay to be paid by the Tuscarora and debt charged to the Tuscarora.[18] This accounting, related to the transfer of the ships from a traditional venture to corporate ownership, also appears to use the transfer as a means to settle debt. Even more interesting, Edward Halsey, or possibly Edward Halsey Jr., sailed as captain of the Tuscarora in 1839 and the Monmouth in 1846.[19] Captain Halsey owned ten shares of stock in 1840, converted from his initial investment in the Tuscarora. The Tuscarora was at sea for 22 months, whaling in the South Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and South Pacific.[20] Halsey’s investment in the early voyages of the Tuscarora would not have been unusual. His conversion to stockholder ensured that traditional relationships remained part of the corporate structure.

The Jones brothers did not just join a wave of incorporation. There is evidence that they considered their options carefully. As noted, Walter had served as a trustee, settling with creditors and investors of the first Atlantic Insurance Company. He was aware of the challenges faced by investors when a company dissolves. In 1827, John H. and Walter R. Jones, seeking to grow the family businesses, announced their intent, along with other local investors, to incorporate the Cold Spring Steam Ship Company.[21] The American Eagle ferried passengers to and from New York under the guidance of Captain Peck.[22] The Jones brothers were jointly listed with Owen and George D. Coles, both likely relatives of John H.’s mother-in-law, as well as Robert W. Mott. However, no act of incorporation appears in records for 1827 or subsequent years. The American Eagle and Captain Peck advertised in the July 27, 1838 Evening Post, but made no mention of either the company or the Jones family. It seems they did not or could not go through with the incorporation of that entity. There is no indication they ever owned the American Eagle or its successor the Croton. Why the brothers did not pursue this incorporation is unknown. As it was over a decade earlier, debates about degrees of liability for corporate entities may not have been as favorable at the time. In 1822, an amendment clarified that corporate trustees could mortgage property owned by the company to pay debts.[23] This additional source of credit may have seemed inviting against the potential risks of a steamship line. Also, since the Peck family was not mentioned in advertisements announcing intent to incorporate, that arrangement may have been less inviting for them. Walter and John may have had difficulty securing outright ownership of the vessel by a potential future company. This would make incorporation impossible.

Although the brothers mitigated many of the pitfalls associated with incorporation, they were perhaps ill-advised in hiring captains who had little or no offshore whaling experience. Of the forty-four voyages, at least eleven captains either started their career in Cold Spring Harbor or sailed their second voyage as captain for the Jones brothers.[24] The job of captain was difficult, requiring skills beyond seafaring. Jeremiah Eldridge, captain of the Monmouth in 1857, failed to negotiate with the crew for their labor, necessary to take on extra oil while in port. This required outside arbitration, costing time and money.[25] The Richmond, commanded by Philander Winters, struck rocks in the Bering Straits and wrecked in 1849. The cargo was salvaged by several ships. One, the Elizabeth Frith, was under the command of Captain Winters’ brother. The salvage was long contested in the courts by the Richmond’s owners.[26] In another instance, Captain Samuel C. Leek sailed his first voyage, a successful voyage to the South Atlantic,[27] as captain out of Sag Harbor. His next voyage, as captain of the Tuscarora, was a bit more difficult. Leek took on needed sailors in the Cook Islands, who changed their minds and subsequently left. It was not long before the crew discovered large holes drilled in the hull. Captain Leek sailed to Australia and negotiated the sale of the ship after it had been condemned. It seems, however, that he may have been tricked, as the ship was refitted and sailing under another name in under a year.[28]

Labor troubles were not limited to captains. Cold Spring Harbor ships often had difficulty finding experienced crew when signing men on in New York and Cold Spring Harbor. With the bustling port of Sag Harbor nearby, experienced sailors were difficult to find and keep. The captains of Cold Spring Harbor, as was common, took on sailors along the way. Not all were like the sailors encountered by Captain Leek; many were valuable crewmembers. Some sailors appear on crew lists several times with common European first names followed by “A. Kanaka” written like a family name, rather than a designation of their Pacific Island heritage. On other ships’ logs these sailors were listed as “Canaka” or “Canaca.” Three sailors named Canaka appear on the 1841 log of the Tuscarora, two from the Society Islands and one from South Hampton. All listed Cold Spring Harbor as their current residence, but no census records connect them to a particular household. It is possible the company housed the sailors by paying locals to take them in. Housing expenses are often noted on receipts and ships’ log books but rarely indicate the name of the sailor. The importance of these sailors to the company is suggested by John H. Jones’ pocket daybook. A small note, one of very few pertaining to sailors, appears in his accounts “to Cash in gold to exchange for silver for pay Kancas.”[29] These sailors helped ease labor shortages and contributed experience to the crew.

As important as they were to the business, it also appears the Canakas became a part of local lore. It is said that when the ships came in, Main Street was renamed “Bedlam Street” and the Pacific Islanders could be seen carving on the steps of the Stone Jug, a boarding house friendly to them.[30] However, no documentation of the boarding house or the men in Cold Spring Harbor has been found. Captain Manuel Eños, a native of the Azores, was an exception. He sailed often from Cold Spring Harbor as part of its regular crew. The Azores were uninhabited until the mid-15th century, when the Portuguese and others started to colonize the islands. Jews, Moorish prisoners, African slaves, Spanish, Flemish and French people were all early colonists. Captain Eños’s home still stands in Cold Spring Harbor.

Although a large community of free African Americans resided in the area, and many historians discussed the impact of whaling on African American communities, there is little to suggest the Jones brothers employed many local African Americans on their ships. The same log from the 1841 voyage of the Tuscarora is often cited as evidence that local African Americans sailed aboard these ships.[31] However, clear connections to local households are difficult to find. Sailors who stated they were born in Cold Spring Harbor, currently lived there, or both do not appear in the census records of Cold Spring Harbor or surrounding communities. Other ships’ logs, like that for the 1851 voyage of the N. P. [Nathaniel Pitcher] Tallmadge, included notes on the crewmembers’ physical appearance. Physical descriptions were not always noted and occasionally conflict. William Price is on a version of the Monmouth crew list for 1846 and identified as dark. An earlier crew list for the same ship in 1840 has no physical description of him or any other sailor.

Again, potential connections to households are difficult. Whalers new to the area and to some degree transient by occupation would be difficult to find as 1830 and 1840 censuses only record heads of household. Many African Americans with different last names appear in single households in the 1850 census. These individuals would be “invisible” in earlier census records. Two African American households apparently took in mothers with young children between 1830 and 1840 when whaling began in the region. It is possible these were sailors’ families but without additional information, it is impossible to know for certain.

Many African Americans were being squeezed out of whaling in other ports during this period by racism. Some turned to working coastal waters so they could stay home tending crops.[32] Three men are listed as being in the coastal trade in 1850 but no connection between them and crew lists has been found. For now, the impact of the whaling business on African American households in Cold Spring Harbor is unclear.

Success, Community and Change

In spite of the challenges, Cold Spring Harbor’s whaling business was successful by many definitions. The Jones brothers built a rhythm with the first two ships key for flows of capital. For the first voyage, the Monmouth went both in and out of Sag Harbor where crew, supplemental supplies and knowledge abounded. Subsequent voyages of the Monmouth were efficient and short, with an average four-month turn around time. In the meantime, the Tuscarora was outfitted and set sail. Then, in 1846, the Monmouth, with an experienced captain at the helm, left New York for the firm’s longest voyage yet. In 1844, 1846 and 1848 the firm had between six and seven ships out at a time. Despite their initial inexperience in whaling, they were able to put the growing fleet to work.[33]

The year 1849 was successful for Cold Spring Harbor. The Monmouth, N.P. Tallmadge, Splendid and Tuscarora were all out on long voyages. Between February and April, the Alice, Huntsville and Sheffield all came in with an estimated 88,000 pounds of bone and more than 10,000 barrels of oil between them. Between August and September, the Alice, Huntsville and Sheffield all set sail again. This balanced and well-timed exchange smoothed flows of capital and allowed accounts to be settled, ships to be re-outfitted, and left investors encouraged.

However, in 1850, this cycle changed. The Monmouth returned and did not go back out for almost sixteen months, idle for the longest period since the ship was purchased. In fact, in 1850, no whaling ship departed from Cold Spring Harbor at all. Having set sail in 1848, the N.P. Tallmadge, Splendid, and Tuscarora were all still in the South Pacific, Alaska, or other whaling grounds. The Alice, Huntsville and Sheffield joined them the following year. All but the Sheffield, out for the second longest voyage the firm would sail, returned in March of 1851.

This change in timing followed on the heels of the loss, in 1849, of the Richmond and its cargo. The ship sent 430 barrels of oil home, but wrecked with an additional 3,500 barrels aboard. The legal battle over the salvage of the Richmond‘s cargo went all the way to the Supreme Court.[34] The case was not decided until 1858 providing little help to the owners with immediate capital needs. The corporation appears to have been dissolved in 1851; the Tuscarora was sold, but whaling continued.

Although 1850 may have been a difficult year great rewards came with the five whalers returning to port. According to Schmidt, Cold Spring Harbor’s best voyage brought the Jones brothers, their investors and crew a record cargo worth $100,000.[35] This was delivered by the Sheffield, which set sail in 1849 and returned in 1854 to New York, He estimated the fleet brought in bone and oil worth 1.5 million dollars during its years of operation. The bark Alice was the last ship home in 1862. Both Walter and John had died, passing in 1855 and 1859 respectively. Only three voyages went out after Walter’s death. Two were relatively long voyages.[36] The Monmouth, however, did not return to Cold Spring Harbor and was sold in Chile.

The durable impact of this venture on Cold Spring Harbor and the surrounding communities may lie beyond the business of whaling. By mid-century, the shift from agriculture to manufacturing was occurring in many places, including Cold Spring Harbor. Between 1850 and 1870, for example, wage labor jobs increased by about 82 % in near-by Oyster Bay. Non-population statistics show the transition from piecework to light industry, represented by sewing machines, rolling mills and lathes. By 1870, industry included specialists. Although hand power still dominated, steam had begun to take hold and one person listed his business as refurbishing machines. This growth was driven in part by investments in capital, purchasing machines, and paying wages.

In the preceding decades, volatility in money supplies and structural changes in the economy made banks risky for small investors. Often, wealthy neighbors made loans using land as collateral. Farmers borrowed against land to mediate the cyclical needs of the agricultural seasons. These debts were converted to mortgages, with land as a medium of exchange and of equal value to all parties. If the farmer defaulted, the person making the loan had more land to borrow against. For the farmer, neighbors, unlike banks, could more readily be negotiated with, which helped lengthen repayment schedules and buffered against the ups and downs of agriculture. Few had money to purchase additional land to leverage for capital to invest in new ventures.

Corporate ventures like the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company offered small investors limited liability and a new means to gain interest on capital. For a relatively small investment that was far less than the price of more land, they could expect some return, or at least recourse, in the event of corporate failure. Walter R. Jones demonstrated his honor in these affairs during the dissolution of the first Atlantic Marine Insurance Company. Also, the brothers were rooted in several longtime local families. In this manner, the whaling venture and company could stimulate local economies in different ways and may have helped shape how a community entered the new national economy. By combining traditional investment options (ones that favored the whalers and wealthy owners) with the sale of stock in a company (which protected small investors and helped organize a large number of investors), the Jones brothers made it possible for the local community to participate in the ventures.

Certainly this transition was taking place across the country, but in Cold Spring Harbor a durable whaling community co-existed with an industrial identity. How integral the whaling component of this shared identity was became clear in 1938, when the American Museum of Natural History offered to donate a ship to Cold Spring Harbor if they had a proper means of housing it. The announcement came in July, and in August a call went out for neighbors to “search their garrets, cellars and closets for relics of the days of ships and industry from Cold Spring Harbor.”[37] Plans to create a new museum soon became contentious when so-called outsiders, from neighboring Oyster Bay and Lloyd Neck, sought to participate, invoking the wrath of one of the Jones brothers’ direct descendants ––Mrs. Phoebe Hewlett Willets. Her impassioned letter, read to the Town Board and reprinted in the paper, spoke of a community of whalers still in Cold Spring Harbor seventy-six years after the Alice came in. These were histories held by families and made present by the whalers’ papers, handed down and cared for over generations. Mrs. Willets represented a group who felt the organizers lacked historical accuracy and sufficient local ties; in her words, it was impossible that “. . . we who have family museums in our homes would be lured into placing sacred relics in the hands of those who have no relation to them and no relation to Cold Spring Harbor’s important age.”[38] Nonetheless, the museum was founded shortly thereafter and remains an important part of the community.

Cold Spring Harbor’s history of investment in early industry is equally important. The recent publication by the town historian, Robert Hughes, connects the earliest mills in the community to more recent history.[39] The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, for which the area is best known today, still use several buildings that belonged to the whaling company and were donated by John H. Jones’ son. These histories are intertwined.


Whaling out of Cold Spring Harbor was a successful hybrid venture and had a clear impact on the area and its cultural heritage that is still visible today. It does not appear this was a story of elite families expanding the family empire at the expense of others. The combined Jones-Hewlett families worked for themselves and with the local community. It is possible this was out of necessity, with the families lacking capital to undertake the venture themselves. Regardless, it is certain the business grew bigger and faster with community help.

Incorporation may have served as a useful tool on several fronts. The structure of the corporation, with its board of directors and voting rules, may have seemed an attractive method for managing the large number of investors. Provisions for limited liability may have attracted additional smaller investors. Coupled with traditional financing options, larger investors could participate in multiple ventures––some corporate, others not. Laws of incorporation also allowed the company to mortgage corporate property to cover debt. In this way, the ships served the company much like land served farmers–– by providing capital to hedge against seasonal fluctuations.

In the end, the Jones brothers did serve as some sort of glue, whaling ceasing shortly after their deaths. However, this was not a cult of personality. The brothers willingly repurposed family resources to serve what was, at best, a risky venture. If the whaling business failed, then their efforts to create a specialized port for outfitting by turning family businesses to that end meant they were risking a large proportion of the family wealth. They also made evenhanded choices that relied on traditional ways of doing business on Long Island. They adhered to key aspects of traditional whaling firms that helped foster success. This included keeping agents and captains invested in each voyage’s success. In the long run, it is possible these efforts stimulated capital growth in the community through encouraging and supporting its entrance into industrial endeavors.

In addition to ongoing research on the long-term economic impact of whaling, work on the relationship between the African American community and whaling in the region is still required, as is research regarding those sailors named “Kanaka” who appear on ships’ logs. Both of these represent internally diverse groups who were underrepresented in documentary records. The relationships these sailors had with Cold Spring Harbor and the surrounding communities are still unclear.

Author’s Acknowledgements

I would like to thank the Gardiner Foundation for its support as well as Jennifer Anderson and all the authors involved in this special issue. The research presented here emerged from a Paul Cuffe Memorial Fellowship given by the Munson Institute, Mystic Seaport. I would also like to express my thanks to Nomi Dayan and the Cold Spring Harbor.



[1]“It will be noticed how strongly the members of the family were tied together; living near the boundary line between Queens and Suffolk Co., through a long civil war, the hostilities and jealousies which convulsed the whole country doubtless taught them to adhere firmly to each other and avoid giving offence. (MSS. C. B. Moore.)” John H. Jones, The Jones Family of Long Island; Descendants of Major Thomas Jones (1665-1726) and Allied Families (New York: Tobias Write, 1907), 19. Mr. Charles B. Moore was a charter member of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society and friend of Jones. He assisted with methods and research. His work is cited throughout the larger work.

[2]Gracie’s widow and daughter would later invest in the whaling company, and his granddaughter married Walter’s youngest brother. David W. Armstrong Jr., William Otis Badger, Jr., and Edwin Warren De Leon. International Insurance Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History, Theory, and Practice of All Branches of Insurance Throughout the World from the Earliest Times to the Present Day (Chicago, IL: American Encyclopedic Library Association, 1910), 341, 413.

[3]Walsh (Atlantic Insurance Company, Trustee) v. State of New York. Claimant no. 18287 Sup.Ct. A.d3 (1927). Find the link here. (accessed 3/17/2016)) see pages 5, 53–77.

[4]Freeman Hunt, Lives of American Merchants (New York, NY: Hunt’s Merchant Magazine, 1856), 415–428.

[5]Ibid., 426.

[6]Jones, The Jones Family of Long Island, 140–143.

[7]John H. Jones Pocket Daybook, Knight Collection, Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company. Folder Z, Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum.

[8]Long Island Farmer & Queens County Advertiser, Oct 12, 1852.

[9]N. & W.W. Billings Papers, Coll 233 Box 7/5; Frederick P. Schmitt, Mark Well the Whale: Long Islands Ships to Distant Seas (Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Whaling Museum Inc., 1971), 10–15.

[10]Eric Hilt, “When Did Ownership Separate from Control? Corporate Governance in the Early Nineteenth Century,” The Journal of Economic History 68, no. 3 (2008), 260.

[11]New York State Legislature, Senate. Journal of the Senate of the State of New York at their Sixty-First Session, Begun and Held at the Capital in the City of Albany on the Second Day of January, 1838 (Albany, NY: E. Croswell, 1838), 177, 234, 296, 305.

[12]New York State Legislature, Senate. Journal of the Senate of the State of New York at their Sixty-Third Session, Begun and Held at the Capital in the City of Albany on the Seventh Day of January, 1838 (Albany, NY: E. Croswell, 1840), 1190–1197.

[13]Meeting of the Commissioners of the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company, 11 July 1840. Knight Collection, Folder S, Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum Company Meeting. Nancy Grace, widow of Archibald, an early employer of Walter R. Jones in marine insurance, had several children, including a daughter, Fanny R. Gardiner. Both these women owned shares of the Cold Spring Harbor Company in 1840. After her death in 1847, Walter R. Jones, Charles H. Jones and Michael Ulehoeffer executed Nancy’s will. Ulehoeffer was Nancy’s son-in-law, married to her oldest daughter MaryAnn. It also appears that Charles H. Jones was married to Fanny’s daughter Elizabeth. He would therefore be Nancy’s grandson by marriage, explaining why he and his brother served as Nancy’s executors and why she and Fanny owned stock in the company. They are two of the four women listed as stockowners.

[14]It should also be noted that the ships were a risky investment in themselves. The Monmouth was known to be leaky. The Edgar, purchased in 1846, had been rebuilt after it was wrecked running as a packet ship out of New Orleans. (Schmitt, 21–22). The Jones brothers did not convert it to a whaler until 1852, possibly testing its seaworthiness. That ship wrecked amidst an otherwise successful voyage. Some oil and bone was salvaged and the ship and its rigging insured.

[15]Hilt (2008), 198.

[16]Advertisement, Motor Boating (June 1938), 11.

[17]Oliver Lorenzo Barbour, Reports of Cases in Law and Equity in the Supreme Court of the State of New York (Albany, NY: W.C. Little & Co., 1876), 113.

[18]Knight Collection, Folder Z, Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum.

[19]For example, the National Digital Maritime Library (NDML) has both Edward Halsey and Edward Halsey, Jr. sailing out of Cold Spring Harbor. However, the dates of these voyages and earlier voyages for the same individual listed in the case of Edward Halsey seem unlikely. Edward Halsey is listed as captain of the Warren in 1812 and the Monmouth in 1846. It is likely the second voyage belongs to the Captain Edward Halsey, Jr. listed in the database. Other inconsistencies exist in the record. An Edward Halsey found in the 1850 census was a seaman and by 1870 is listed as a farmer. His birth date is approximately 1812, making him 16 when the NDML lists him as captain of the Union. More research is necessary.

[20]Schmitt, Mark Well the Whale, 138-139

[21]Long Island Farmer and Queens County Advertiser, March 15 and 29, 1827. (Accessed 8/28/2015).

[22]Apparently several Captain Pecks took charge of the ship over time. In 1838 a Richard Peck was captain and in 1840 a Charles Benson Peck is listed as captain. Apparently Charles Benson Peck died young. It is unclear who took over next. House Documents, Otherwise Published as Executive Documents, 13th Congress 2nd Session –– 49th Congress 1st Session. Accessed Google books (8 August, 2015). J. Disturnell, The New York State Register (New York State, 1845), 259.

[23]Charles M. Haar, “Legislative Regulation of New York Industrial Corporations 1800-1850,” New York History 22, no. 2 (April 1941), 191–207.

[24]Judith N. Lund, Elizabeth A. Josephson, Randall R. Reeves and Tim D. Smith, American Offshore Whaling Voyages: A Database. (Accessed August 7, 2015).

[25]Schmitt, Mark Well the Whale, 63.

[26] Jones et al. v. The Richmond, (1853)

[27]Lund, et al.

[28]Schmitt, Mark Well the Whale, 62.

[29]John H. Jones Pocket Daybook. Knight Collection, Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Company. Folder Z, Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum.

[30]James Arthur Harris, The Cold Spring Harbor Library: Containing a Sketch of the Library, the Addresses Delivered on the Occasion of the Opening of the New Library Building October Twenty-third 1913; together with an Historical Sketch of Cold Spring Harbor (Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Gillis Press, 1914), 24, 51.

[31]Linda Day, Making a Way to Freedom: A History of African Americans on Long Island (Interlaken, NY: Empire State Books, 1997), 75; Schmidt, Mark Well the Whale, 142–143.

[32]W. Jeffrey Bolster, Black Jacks: African American Seamen in the Age of Sail (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997), 165.

[33]N.P. Tallmadge, Huntsville, Richmond, Splendid, Alice, and Sheffield were all purchased between 1843 and 1845. The Edgar was purchased in 1852.

[34]Jones v. The Richmond, New York, April 26, 1858. ... s.1012.pdf

[35]Schmitt, Mark Well the Whale, 122.

[36]The Splendid was out for more than 43 months and the Alice for 44 months. Schmitt, Mark Well the Whale, 139.

[37]“Cold Spring Harbor Has Novel Exhibit,” The Long Islander, May 29, 1936.

[38]“Whaling Museum Starts Arguments,” The Long Islander, Aug 7, 1936.

[39]Robert Hughes, Cold Spring Harbor (Images of America), (Mount Pleasant, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2014).
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