Sunday, 13 September 2009

Verrill Scientific Illustrations

Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2008 4:42 PM
To: Doug Frizzle
Subject: RE: Verrill Illustrations

Dear Doug,

As you probably know, Hyatt’s father, A. E. Verrill, was a famous invertebrate zoologist. One of his specialties was the deep water Octocorallia. He had produced a sizeable manuscript just before he died, consisting of 156 plates and many hand written pages. That was never published. But, my professor, Ted Bayer, accumulated a complete set of these plates and in 2004 published 50 copies in the form of a book, each costing him $100. This was a labor of love and personally financed. Most of those copies have been given to taxonomists in the field. Many of the 156 plates were hand drawn by Hyatt Verrill. They are exquisite, even by today’s standards. We still have good copies of most of the original plates, if you would like to borrow some and copy them to your liking. Apparent Ted visited Hyatt in the early 1950’s in Florida. I may be able to find a letter to that effect. Just after the publication of the plates, the text was discovered in the basement of the Yale Museum. Ted also has a picture of Hyatt’s daughter in bullfighting costume. Apparently she was one of the few female bull fighters. Ted passed away about a year ago and I sort of control his scientific legacy.


Stephen D. Cairns

Research Scientist/Curator

Department of Invertebrate Zoology

Smithsonian Institution

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As an armed forces brat, we lived in Rockcliff (Ottawa), Namao (Edmonton), Southport (Portage La Prairie), Manitoba, and Dad retired to St. Margaret's Bay, NS.
Working with the Federal Govenment for 25 years, Canadian Hydrographic Service, mostly. Now married to Gail Kelly, with two grown children, Luke and Denyse. Retired to my woodlot at Stillwater Lake, NS, on the rainy days I study the life and work of A. Hyatt Verrill 1871-1954.