Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/600

This page needs to be proofread.




Thomas Lee, another friend, i^upple- mented the endowment of the Hersey scholarship with an equal sum, stipu- lating; that the income should be paid to Prof. W3'man during life, whether he held the chair or not. The aid given Wyman by these two gifts did much to enable him to continue scientific Avork in comfort. In 18GG Wyman was nuide one of the trustees of the Museum and had the Professorship of American Archeology and Ethnology, founded by George Peabody, of Harvard University. By the other trustees he was made curator of the museum. After taking charge of the museum, he devoted himself mainl}' to ethnology.

" With what sagacity, consummate skill, vmtiring diligence and success, his seven annual Reports, the last pub- lished just before he died, his elaborate memoir on shell-heaps, and especially the " Archeological Museum in Boylston Hall, abundantly testify. If this mus- eum be a worthy memorial of the founder's liberality and foresight, it is no less a monument of Wyman's rare ability and devotion." (Gray).

In 1850 Wyman married Adeline WTieelwright, who died in June, 1855, leaving two daughters and in 1861, Anna Williams Whitney, who died in 1864 shortly after the birth of a son.

Wyman suffered throughout most of his life from consumption, which grew worse as time went on, so his winters were usually spent in Florida. During the earlier years he did much to build up the museum of which he had charge. "The record shows that he has made here one hundred and five scientific communica- tions, several of them very important papers, every one of some positive value.

He was a member of the Faculty of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, and was chosen president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for the year 1857, but did not assume the duties.

His scientific papers embrace a wide range of studies including human and comparative anatomy, physiology, mi-

croscopic anatomy, paleontolog3, eth- nology, archeology, and studies of the habits of animals. He also wrote several cajiital biograjjhical sketches of fellow sci(>ntists.

In human anatomy, liis most impor- tant paper is entitled, " Observations on Crania," published in the "Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural His- tory," for 1868. This contains consider- alile valuable information. Wyman also Tiiade a careful study of the skeleton of a Hottentot, was one of the first to inves- tigate the arrangement of spongy bone in relation to the uses to which the bone is put; compared the spicula of bone in the neck of the human femur with that in the femurs of animals which do not stand upright; gave a careful description of the brain and cranial cavity of Daniel Webster, and important evidence con- cerning the effect of heat on the structure of bone.

A master in the field of comparative anatomy and paleontology, he achieved some popular, as well as scientific repu- tation by showing the Hydrarchus Silli- mani publicly exhibited as the remains of a gigantic extinct sea-serpent, to be in fact made up of fossil bones belonging to several animals and these animals mam- mals, not reptiles. He also showed that some, at least, of the so-called paddles exliibited with this skeleton were casts of chambered cells. Wyman made nu- merous valuable studies of fossil remains including those of a fossil elephant and of a megatherium and of the cranium of a mastodon. In comparative anat- omy the most important publication is probably that on the nervous systems of Rana Pipiens published in the " Smith- sonian Contributions to Knowledge," 1852. In this he gives a full description of the peripheral nervous system of the bull-frog and of the changes undergone during metamorphosis. His theoretical summaries are particularly valuable. His paper on the embryology of the skate (Raia Batis) in the "Transactions of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences," 1864, is also important. In