Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 46.djvu/856

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making the Niagara group), the Medina sandstone, the Onondaga salt group, the Hamilton, Portage, and Chemung groups, thus giving typical localities of the rock instead of descriptive names. This method or system of nomenclature leaves no possibility of mistake or confusion which might arise from a different appreciation of descriptive terms. The typical locality always remains for study, comparison, and reference, and there need be no difference of opinion or discussion as to what was intended by the use of any one of the terms. The progress of geological science in the country is greatly indebted to this system of nomenclature, and to the absolute working out of the succession of the groups, and the members of the same, to which this system of nomenclature has been applied."

At the close of the survey he spent some months in Albany (associated with Prof. James Hall) in arranging the State geological cabinet, the specimens of which he had assisted in collecting, and out of which has grown the New York State Museum. His name was given by his colleagues to several species of the fossils discovered in the course of the survey, and in 1858 Mr. Elkenah Billings named a genus (discovered in Canada) in his honor.

Prof. Vanuxem's private collection of minerals and geological specimens was considered at the time of his death as "the largest, best arranged, and most valuable private collection in this country." The shell and mineral specimens were fine and many of them very beautiful, but it was the geological department, with its numerous specimens of rock and fossil and the perfect arrangement of the whole, giving to the investigator, in the best manner possible, the information sought, and all arranged by his own hands and methods, that constituted its chief value. It was constantly visited by eminent scientists both of this country and from abroad. Prof. Agassiz, Sir Charles Lyell, and Dr. Nicolay were drawn to it on more than one occasion. Those who were in the habit of visiting it most frequently, both from interest in it and its possessor, seemed to be filled with enthusiasm, of whom were Dr. Emmons, Dr. Beck, Prof. Timothy Conrad, Dr. Locke, of Cincinnati, and many others. On one occasion, while engaged on the United States Coast Survey, Dr. Locke brought all his paraphernalia of work and his assistants, pitching his tents in a field on the Vanuxem farm near the house; there he remained for some weeks, continuing his work, at the same time availing himself of the opportunity of study in and examination of the cabinet, making numerous casts of the specimens, especially the rare fossils.

After his death. Prof. Vanuxem's collection was purchased by W. M. Stewart, President of Masonic College at Clarksville, Tenn. It was reported that during the civil war the collection was dissipated and destroyed, but this rumor could not have been wholly