Friday, June 17, 2016

IF Homework 6/12


The founder of the Peabody Museum, O.C. Marsh had a hard childhood. His father was fairly undependable and his mom died when March was 3. When his father remarried, Marsh had to move to north of Boston a few years later. When the generation of children expanded from him and his sister to the pair plus 4 more (6 child, fathered by Marsh’s dad), the eldest son Marsh was forced to work in the fields to support the family. However, instead of working to support the family, O.C. Marsh found himself escaping the farm, exploring minerals, fossil corals, trilobites, etc up close and receiving an education of rocks and landscapes from a neighbor, Colonel Ezekiel Jewett, a mineralogist and paleontologist. Thanks to his share of money from his uncle George Peabody and unfortunate death of his sister in her early twenties, O.C. Marsh took his studies, graduating Valedictorian of his class at Andover eventually became a huge part in finding the Peabody Museum.  


The article recalls the Peabody’s recent event to commemorate the museum’s 150 year existence and opening. Although originally a challenge, the curators found a way to create an informative and visually appealing exhibit to complement the event taking place. Although not conspicuous ever since the Peabody first opened its doors, the Museum has been known to own a 13-million piece collection, only which 0.04 percent of all specimens in the collections are actually out on display in the museum. With such as enormous collection, the Museum has been credited with gaining recognition as a world leader from the 1960s to today and has taken part in housing specimens that have helped solve of humanity’s greatest problems such as creating the theory of evolution. In this modern age, researchers use advanced scanning on specimens from the collections to create 3D models, displays, etc. The Museum hopes to open it’s doors for many more years to come, continuing to support current research and giving visitor’s authentic exhibits to visit. 

O.C. Marsh is an important part of the Peabody Museum History because it was his interest and enthusiasm for collecting minerals and rocks, fostered by his neighbor Jewett, that eventually gave him grounds to establishing the Peabody Museum. With the creation of the museum, Marsh is able to house his collections and make the dream he had a reality as well as later contributing greatly to the sciences with the specimens found in the collections.

The writing style of Coniff retelling Peabody History/Marsh’s story seems like a vintage photograph that you can jump in to. The details found in the book make you feel like you are next to Marsh and Peabody, growing up with them as they face their trials and tribulations and see how their greatness truly stemmed from small beginnings. The article’s writing style focuses more on what the museum has become today, reputation wise as in what specimens that they have in their collections, how the museum has contributed to the field of science, etc. 

Darwinian means to be a person who supports Darwinism, "the theory of the evolution of species by natural selection advanced by Charles Darwin.” This adds on to O.C. Marsh’s history because we know that he believed in the theory of evolution of natural selection. This can mean that Marsh’s age old love for collecting will become crucial evidence for supporting the theory and help researchers later on as they can find those specimens in the collections.

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