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or THK

Museum of Comparative Zoology



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J'xN 15

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Public Museum


September 1, 1902 to August 31, 1903.

OCTOBER 1. 1903.


Tus Edw. Kkooh PRcan, 3<47-340 Broadway.

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Edward W. Windfelder,
Fred. Grossenbach,
Ferdinand Meinecke,
Robert Nunneinacher,

Term expires May, 1907
Term expires May, 1906
Term expires May, 1905
Term expires May, 1904


William Murphy,
C. J. Fitzgerald,
T. J. Pringle,

Term expires May, 1904
Term expires May, 1904
Term expires May, 1904


H. (). II. Siefert, Sup't of Schools. - Term expires May, 1904

J«Tt*nii;ili (^iiiii. IVes't of School Board, Term expires May, 1004


Kdward W. Wiiidfcldcr, President.
Henry I.. Ward, Secretary. K\-()tticlo.

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Robert Nunnemacher, Chairman,
Jeremiah Quin,

Fred. Grossenbach,

William Murphy,

p:dward W. Windfelder, Ex-Off.


Ferd. Meinecke, Chairman,

William Murphy,

Robert Nunnemacher,

H. L. Ward, Ex-Off.

Fred. Grossenbach, Chairman,

11. (). K. Siefert,

Jeremiah Quin.
T. J. Pring^le, Chairman,

Ferd. Meinecke,

Fred, (irosseribach,

H. L. Ward, Ex-Off.


Jeremiah Quin, Chairman,

H. O. R. Siefert,

T. J. Pringle,

Fred. Grossenbach.


William Murphy, Chairman,
C. J. Fitzg-erald,

Robt. Nunnemacher,

Edward W. Windfelder, Ex-Off.


Ferd. Meinecke, Chairman,

C. J. Fitzg^erald,

T. J. Pring-le.


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Dr. S. (Jraenicher, - - Ichthyologry and Herpetology

Carl Hagenbeck, Hamburg, (Jermany, - - Zoologj'

Albert von IloflPmann, - . . . Archaeology*

Adolph Meinecke, -..-.- At Large
Chas. E. Monroe, . . . . > Palaeontology

August Stirn, ..... Ornithology


Henry L. Ward,
Carl Thai,
Wm. B. Brickner.
Charles Brandler,
Geo. Shrosbree,
Paul (\ Rohde,
Herbert Clowes,
Cha«. K. Brown,
Henry E. Elchfeld,
Lydia Xehrling,
Olive C. Wheeler.
Phillip J. Pier,
Clare F. Wilson,

Custodian and Secretary

Ass't Custodian and Ass't Secretary

Special Clerk



Taxidermist Apprentice

Land sea i^e Modeler






Chief Engineer

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Milwaukee, September 22, 1903.
To the Honorable the Common Council of the City of Milwaukee:

Gentlemen — As required by Section 8 of Chapter 328 of
the Laws of Wisconsin of 1882, the Board of Trustees of the
Public Museum of the City of Milwaukee herewith presents
its twenty-first annual report.

Attached to this report is the inventory of the museum
and a statement of its financial transactions from September
1st, 1902, to August 31st, 1903.

As to the patronization of the museum by the public, I
feel only too gratified to say that it is beyond expectation.

The policy of the Custodian to excel in the preparation
and exhibition of mammal and bird groups, by which the
animals are shown to the visitors in their homes with all the
natural surroundings, has found the greatest admiration on
the part of the public.

The practice of the School Board of having the teachers
bring their classes to the museum has been continued with
good success, and the Custodian in conjunction with the
Board of Trustees has done everything in their power to en-
courage attendance of this kind.

The museum is growing rapidly, the space given to the
exhibition of objects has nearly all been occupied and there
is but very little room left for installing new exhibition cases.
In my previous reports I have already drawn the attention of
your honorable body to the urgent necessity of having another
wing erected, for which there is sufficient vacant space on the

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north side of the present building, in order to enable the
Museum Board to make additional exhibits such as are con-
templated by the Board of Trustees.

The museum with its present rapid growth is considerably
hampered by an insufficient appropriation which made itself
manifest for several years much to the disadvantage of the
institution. It will for this reason be indispensable for this
Board to petition the next State Legislature for such an
increase in the museum's appropriation- as will be adequate to
the progress that we are expecting to make in the near future.
In the endeavor to secure such an increase in our appropria-
tion, the Board of Trustees kindly solicits the co-operation of
the honorable the Common Council of this city, with the
assurance that everything will be done by the Board of Trus-
tees to heighten the reputation of the Milwaukee Public
Museum, and have it placed in the front rank with similar
institutions in the United States.

The inventory of the museum shows a considerable
increase over that of last year and is as follows:
0,4S0 Mineralogical and geological specimens, valued

at $7,151 80

14,02;} i'alaeontological specimens, valued at 7,190 05

22,?5oy JJotanieal specimens, valued at 1,604 65

163,043 Zor)logical specimens, valued at 58,633 55

H),02.') Archaeological specimens, valued at 11,710 15

3,95U Ethnological specimens, valued at 12,996 60

2,051 Arms, armor, carvings and other objects con-
tained in the Kud. J. Nunnemacher collec-
tion, valued at 72,329 59

2,244 Coins, banknotes, medals, etc., valued at 454 52

10,3,s2 iJooks, pami)hlets, maps, etc., valued at 9,929 20

Furniture, tools, jars, vessels, etc., valued at... 51.238 55

245,272 Total $233,238 66

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The financial statement of the Board is as follows:

Balance in Museum fund Sept. 1, 1902 $10,846 91

Refunded from various sources 546 94

Appropriation to Museum fund, Jan. 1, 1903 24,554 48

$35,948 33
Total expenditures during the 3'ear 25,845 89

Leaving a balance on Sept. 1, 1903 of $10,102 44

For more detailed information you are referred to the
Custodian's report. ,

In conclusion I wish to express my thanks to the members

of the Board of Trustees for their kind co-operation in the

museum work, and for their valuable time which they have

so cheerfully given to further the best interests of the museum.

^All of which is respectfully submitted.



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Gentlemen — This, the twenty-first annual report of the
museum, is herewith submitted to you in accordance with the
provisions of Section 12 of Rule 6 governing the museum,
and will, I trust, show a satisfactory advance along the lines
broadly indicated at the inception of this institution as an
independent municipal department twenty-one years ago.

It would afford me much pleasure to be able to chronicle
the securing of a professionally trained corps of curators for
the various dei>artments of the museum, whose assistance will
be absolutely essential in the development of the scientific side
of various of the collections commensurate with the dignity
that their extent seems to warrant : but the lack of an adequate
income has as yet rendered this impracticable. The absence
of such assistants with its concomitant result reflected in the
exhibitions must be unsatisfactory to you and probably also
is to the more discriminating portion of our visitors. This
desideratum as well as that of increas\ed space in which to
real range and expand the collections are matters that undoubt-
edly will be remedied by you as soon as possible ; after which
we may hope to put the collections in such shape that their
educational features may readily be grasped by the casual
visitor and the institution become recognized as one of the
most important and influential educational factors in the city.
It has thus far done but a small proportion of the educational
work that under slightly better financial conditions might be
expected of it.

The museum building should contain an auditorium or
amphitheater in which the professionalized staff and invited

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speakers would each year give courses of popular illustrated
lectures on subjects that would create and maintain a more
appreciative and lively interest in the museum than now
exists in the minds of most of our visitors. Lectures designed
primarily for the school teachers, in order that they might
more efTectively use the various collections prepared for
loaning to the schools, would not seriously interfere with the
museum work of a competent staff and would surely be of
much benefit to the teachers and to others who would probably
attend ; and would greatly increase the influence of the
museum upon the school children of our city. At the present
time the Board room is frequently used by the various
scientific societies, but as it was designed as a meeting room
for only about a dozen people provision was not made for the
rapid changing of air required by a large assemblage. The
Wisconsin Xatural History Society and its various sections,
the Wisconsin Archaeological Society, the Wisconsin Myco-
logical Society and the Milwaukee County Medical Society
hold their sessions in this room. X'arious times its seating
capacity has been taxed to the utmost; and at such times the
atmospheric conditions have been almost unendurable. Should
you approve of this scheme of popular lectures it would be
well to bear the matter in mind when adding to the present
building. I have given this matter careful consideration and
am convinced of its desirabilitv and feasibility. In the
American Museum of Xatural History in New York City the
state is annually paying into the museum treasury the sum of
twelve thousand dollars to enable it to carry on its system of
public instruction which reaches all over the state of New
York in the form of printed lectures and lantern slides for
illustrating them, while at the museum lectures for the teachers
of the city have long been furnished. Last year ninety lectures
were given in their large auditorium which was insufficient to
accommodate all who wished to attend. Similar courses of
lectures, some larger and ' some smaller, are carried on by

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nearly all the museums in the country and are considered one
of their important features. The leading museum men of the
world have alm(^ universally recognized the importance and
value to their museums of such lectures. We find them at
our own National Museum, while it was a matter of oft
expressed regret to Sir Richard Owen that he could not induce
the trustees of the British Museum, Department of Natural
History, to provide for a lecture hall in that building. I feel
sure that the citizens of Milwaukee, with their high degree of
culture and intelligence, would heartily appreciate such efforts
on their behalf.

There are several good collections in the museum which
are at present in a fairly satisfactory condition for advanced
students, but which mean very little to the unscientific visitor
because of the lack of explanatory labels and these conse-
quently are somewhat generally looked upon, and probably
justly from the point of view of the ordinary visitor, as aggre-
gates of *'curios." My desire is to have such collections not
only scientifically arranged but so illumined by carefully
worded labels, diagrams, pictures, etc., as to make them of
interest to one devoid of technical knowledge; to attract the
casual observer and instruct him unawares. Some of this work
we have been carrying out the past year as best we could under
existing conditions, but progress in it has been much slower
than desirable ; and to so treat various other of our collections
is quite beyond the capabilities of the present staff ; yet these
collections are worthy of proper presentation and much good
might be done our local students were they elaborated as they

During the past twelve months we have made several
important additions to the museum and have re-labeled and
rearranged various collections which are specifically mentioned
in the following paragraphs. Much still remains to be done
in this latter Hne, upon which so greatly depends the usefulness
of the institution to students.

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Our inventories are now in good condition with the excep-
tion of that of the Insects, which requires considerable work,
and a portion of the Botanical one waiting off the remounting
and identification of some specimens, mostly foreign. This
work, and during the last few months work upon the card
catalogue of the library, has occupied such of the time of Mr.
Thai as has not been taken up with the administration of the
museum during my absence and the keeping of the museum
accounts and various other duties that have devolved upon

The cataloging of a library of over ten thousand volumes,
so as to make the contents easily available for our work, is a
matter of considerable magnitude. During the year the library
has been augmented by considerably over one thousand
volumes, some of which necessitate a large number of cards
to index their varied contents. Approximately thirteen thou-
sand of these have now been written ; but it is probable that
considerable time will elapse before the library' is in good
working order. The accessioning of the various books and
pamphlets as they come in, besides the stenographic and
clerical duties of the office, has been attended to by Mr.
Brickner. During this year we have found it advisable to add
more than formerly to the library by purchase in order to
obtain books essential to carrying on the museum work. It
is still very weak in many directions and it will be found
necessary to purchase more extensively in the future to provide
the tools requisite for the elucidation of- the growing

We now have three reading tables in operation. One in
the Mammal hall on the first floor, bearing three books on
mammals which are chained to a standard in the center of the
table ; another on the second floor, by the collection of local
birds, having five books treating of the birds of this region,
which are fastened by tape : and one on the third floor near the
minerals with as yet but a single book. It seems essential

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that the books be fastened in some manner to obviate visitors
carrying them about and not returning them to their proper
places. Should any one desire to purloin a book it is patent
that a chain fastening would present the greater obstacle, but
its suggestion seems to be unfortunate, and I think that in the
future we had best employ the lighter and less secure tape
which serves only as a suggestion that the book should not
be removed. I am pleased to state that these books are used
considerably and are treated carefully. They certainly are
conducive to a better appreciation of the museum and are
provocative of that study and research which we should assist.
It will be advisable to add other reading tables from time
to time until we have all the principal collections supplemented
in this manner.

In the entrance lobby on the ground floor we have installed
an attractive scenic case representing an Eskimo girl fishing
through the ice of a pool in a rock-bound stream bordered by
wooded hills. This, because of its beauty and human interest,
attracts attention and favorable comment from all and is
particularly a favorite with the ladies and children. The design
of the cascv which is unique in museum furniture, as well as
the conception and execution of the figure and scenery, is the
work of F. B. Melville of Chicago, the well known modeler
of ethnological groups. The case is rectangular, 7 feet front,
6 feet deep and 9 feet in height, and conforms to our others
in being of cherry stained to mahogany. The only opening is
a curtained window\ 4x3^ feet, (flanked by two heavy pillars)
that gives a view of the interior suggestive of looking through
a window of an observation car upon a passing scene. Light
is furnished by hidden and tempered electric lights contained
in holophane globes within the case, giving an ample yet
subdued and diffused light. The back, one end and the top
of the interior are domed. The other end is a mirror that
reflects and multiplies parts of the scene, while the balance is
shut off by a screen of trees painted directly upon the mirror

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itself. In this manner is overcome the obvious unreality pro-
duced by directly joining a mirror at right angles to a painted
backgroimd, and most beholders are unconscious that one is
present. The scene is somewhat theatrical and panoramic
in its make up, but certainly is highly effective ; much more so
than could be obtained with the ordinary museum case. In
the interior lighting of this group, as well as of several others
previously so treated, we are greatly indebted to Engineer
Wilson who has taken much interest in the grave matter of
effective museum lighting.

In the Mammal hall considerable advance has been made
during the year and other work is under way which will
materially enhance the scientific value and general appearance
of this room. Mr. Brandler has executed a group of African
asses upon the desert, of musk oxen with Arctic surroundings,
a winter group of weasels and the specimens of a summer
group of the same animal, and also of a group of mink, the
accessories and painted background of which were prepared
by Mr. Clowes. These companion groups of weasels are
designed to show the protective coloration of this animal in
our latitude both in summer and in winter and form part of
the series of groups of Wisconsin mammals that we hope will
fill the scries of quadruple cases at the south end of the
mammal room. Mr. Brandler has also mounted various single
specimens of mammals. A mounted specimen of a large sea
elephant was purchased. The groups of orang-outangs and
American l)ison, that have hitherto remained in the unfinished
condition in which they were installed when the collections
were moved into the present building have been rearranged,
and suitable accessories added by Mr. Clowes, so that they
now present a very natural appearance and exhibit more of
the life histories of these animals.

Comparing the groups of musk oxen, bison and orang-
outangs with those exhibited in other museums in the country,
I feel that we have made a very creditable showing and are

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running equal with the best. In the case of the orangs 1 am
convinced that no other group in the United States equals
ours either in general appearance or in scientific accuracy and
elaborateness of accessories. It is doubtful if the durion
trees, commonly represented in these groups, in any other
museum approximate as closely in bark texture as ours, or
if the leaves in any other group are made in molds taken from
the living leaf. The orchids, modeled from a living plant
collected in Borneo, lend a pleasing touch of color. The
groups are provided with framed descriptive labels telling
something of the habits of the animals shown.

Such groups offer an opportunity to portray a chapter from
the lives of the animals shown ; to exhibit their methods of
hunting and the food that they seek, their homes in which the
young may be shown, the kind of country that they inhabit ;
in fact a great many things that can not be shown by single
specimens mounted upon wooden pedestals. It is needless to
say that the public are more interested in our groups than in
the individual specimens and that they are vastly superior to
the latter for a popular educational museum su(?h as this.
Much more time is required in the preparation of such groups
than would suffice for the mounting of an equal number of
single specimens and the space required to exhibit the group
considerably excepds that required for the single specimens;
but notwithstanding these drawbacks I think that the
superiority of group work greatly exceeds its disadvantages
and that it will be expedient for us to continue along this line,
at least until we have exhibited in this manner the more
important mammals of this section.

On one of the walls of this room, not far removed from the
skeleton of the hump-backed whale, has been installed a set
of "whaling irons'' of the old type. In order to make the use
of these more easily understood we have added not only a
descriptive label but three carefully prepared water color
sketches, by Miss Wheeler, showing the harpooning, lancing,

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and "cutting in" of a whale. By this means an exhibit, which
otherwise would be quite insignificant in appearance, is made

Much, however, is still requisite to give a proper exposition
of the mammals of even this state, not to mention North
America, and special efforts must be made along this line
avoiding scattering our efforts by dabbling in foreign speci-
mens that are of types already represented or which can be
satisfactorily shown by specimens from our own region. With

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Online LibraryMilwaukee Public MuseumAnnual report of the Board of Trustees of the Public Museum of the City of ... → online text (page 1 of 21)