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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Department ofVertebrate Zoology

Division of Fishes

Spencer F. Baird
Spencer F. Baird circa 1875
© Smithsonian Institution

Events in the Life of Spencer F. Baird

Year

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Born in Reading, PA.

1823

 

Family moves to Carlisle, PA, following death of Baird's father

1834

 
 

1837

Theodore N. Gill born

Graduates from Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA

1840

 

Receives M.A. degree from Dickinson College

1843

 

Appointed Professor of Natural History at Dickinson College; marries Mary H. Churchill

1846

Smithsonian Institution established; Tarleton H. Bean born

Summer field trip in the Adirondacks, NY

1847

Louis Agassiz arrives in Boston, accompanied by Charles Girard

Explores natural history of southeastern Pennsylvania on a Smithsonian grant; Lucy, his only child, born

1848

U.S. and Mexican Boundary Survey begins

Appointed Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian

1850

D.H. Storer's Synopsis of the Fishes of North America is published; Charles Girard joins the Smithsonian staff

Iconographic Encyclopedia of Science, Literature and Art published, translated and edited by Baird

1851

George Brown Goode and David Starr Jordan born

Baird's Catalog of North American Reptiles, co-authored by Charles Girard, published

1853

North Pacific Exploring Expedition and Pacific Railroad Surveys begin

Baird's article on fishes of New Jersey and Long Island coasts published

1855

U.S. and Mexican Boundary Survey and Pacific Railroad Surveys completed

Receives Doctor of Physical Science Degree, Dickinson College

1856

The first entry in the Fishes Catalog; North Pacific Exploring Expedition completed

Baird's report Mammals published in Pacific Railroad Reports, v. 8

1857

Northwest Boundary Survey begins; T.N. Gill visits the Smithsonian and meets Baird

Baird's report Birds published in Pacific Railroad Reports, v. 9 (with no plates)

1858

Girard's Fishes published in Pacific Railroad Reports, v. 10)

Baird's Mammals of North America published

1859

Girard's Ichthyology of the Boundary published

Baird's Birds of North America published, assisted by J.Cassin and G.N. Lawrence

1860

John E. Holbrook's Ichthyology of South Carolina published

Summer field trip to New Jersey, New York, and New England

1861

Northwest Boundary Survey completed

Elected to National Academy of Sciences, over the opposition of Louis Agassiz

1864

Presents "Distribution and Migration of North American Birds" before the National Academy of Sciences

1865

Smithsonian Institution building fire

Appointed scientific editor for Harper's Weekly

1870

Appointed Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries

1871

Fish Commission summer station in Woods Hole, MA

First met G. Brown Goode at Fish Commission summer station in Eastport, Maine

1872

T.N. Gill's Arrangement of the Families of Fishes, prepared for the Smithsonian Institution, published

Baird's 850-page Report on the Condition of Sea Fisheries of the South Coast of New England published

1873

Fish catalog entries pass the 10,000 mark; L. Agassiz dies in Cambridge, MA

Baird's History of North American Birds published, co-authored by R. Ridgway and T.M.Brewer

1874

Fish Commission summer station in Noank, CT, where G. B. Goode meets D.S. Jordan and T.H. Bean

Placed in charge of government exhibits at Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia

1876

G.B. Goode in charge of zoological and fisheries exhibits in Philadelphia, assisted by T.H. Bean

Serves as scientific expert at Halifax, Nova Scotia

1877

G.B. Goode and T.H. Bean join the Smithsonian staff; Fish catalog entries pass the 20,000 mark

Appointed Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution

1878

Smithsonian Secretary Joseph Henry dies

Summer at Fish Commission station in Provincetown, MA

1879

T.H. Bean appointed Curator of Ichthyology

Awarded the Grand Prize of Emperor William at International Fisheries Exhibition in Berlin

1880

Special agents of the U.S. Census Bureau survey the fishing industries

Summer at the Fish Commission station in Woods Hole, MA

1882

Fish catalog entries pass the 30,000 mark

G.B. Goode compiles Published Writings of Spencer F. Baird, 1842-1882, listing 1,063 titles

1883

International Fisheries Exhibition in London; Synopsis of Fishes of North America by D.S. Jordan C.H. Gilbert published

Summer in Woods Hole, MA

1884

First section of Fisheries and Fishery Industries, edited by G.B. Goode, published

Baird dies in Woods Hole, MA

1887

Samuel P. Langley elected Secretary of the Smithsonian

Congress compensates ($50,000) Baird's family for his unpaid service as U.S. Fish Commissioner

1888

G.B. Goode's American Fishes published; Fish catalog entries approach 40,000 mark

1895

T.H. Bean leaves Washington

1896

G.B. Goode dies in Washington, DC; Oceanic Ichthyology by G.B. Goode and T.H. Bean published; First volume of Fishes of North and Middle America, by D.S. Jordan and B.W. Evermann published

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