History of Botany in the Rhode Island Area
Coleman, Annette .
Vignettes from the History of Brown Botany.
Brown University and the City of Providence have made notable contributions to botany. The University itself was the site of the first college lecture in botany in N. America (1784), albeit by an unpaid member of the medical school. Botany continued to flourish after the demise of that medical school, aided by an 1880 bequest from Stephen Thayer Olney, a local woolen mill magnate. He established a herbarium, initially furnished with his extensive collections of plants and algae. An 1893 Brown graduate, W.J.V Osterhout, went on to a stellar career pioneering the study of ion exchange and surface membrane charge, using such macroalgae as Nitella and Valonia. He also, with Jacques Loeb, established the Journal of General Physiology in 1918. Walter Snell, Brown AB, Ph.D and professor, combined a colorful athletic career with the study of mycology and the chairmanship of the Botany Department from 1921 to 1958. His “Boleti of N.E. North America” was the bible, and his advice was frequently sought by hospital emergency rooms. In the city itself, the wooded edge of the eastern border on the river joins two botanical prizes. The first, Butler Hospital, has extensive grounds laid out by the famous landscaper, Frederich Law Olmstead. Just north lies Swan Point Cemetery, an arbor park and also the final resting place of W.A. Setchell, of Setchell and Gardner fame for turn of the century marine algal collecting world wide.
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1 - Brown University, Department of Biology & Medicine, Providence, Rhode Island, 02912, USA
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Location: Ballroom B/Convention Center
Date: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
Time: 11:30 AM