Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/140

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

guide-books designed to meet the requirements of the school were published, the authors being Mrs. Agassiz, Dr. H. P. Bowditch, Professor George L. Goodale, H. L. Clapp, Ellen H. Richards, W. 0. Crosby, Hyatt, and Hyatt and Arms. Five of these pamphlets are by Hyatt; their titles are "About Pebbles," "Commercial and other Sponges," "Common Hydroids, Corals and Echinoderms," "The Oyster, Clam and other Common Mollusks," and "Worms and Crustacea"; and in 1890 he published in collaboration with Miss Jennie M. Arms (now Mrs. Sheldon) a remarkably clear, concise and well-worded book upon insects. This is the most elaborate guide-book of its series, and no work could give a clearer idea of the distinctive characters of the sixteen orders of insects classified in accordance with Brauer's scheme from the lowly organized Thysanura to the highly specialized Diptera. As a school-teacher's guide it is unsurpassed, and its clear explanations are admirably supplemented by 223 outline figures of common American insects. It is far more than an anatomical treatise, however, for it presents charmingly worded accounts of the development, physiology, habits and ancestry of the various orders of insects. Yet it is not a theoretical treatise, but aims to present to the teachers well-established and incontrovertible facts. Indeed, the authors take pains to advise teachers to avoid presenting mere theories to immature minds.

This association with the teachers in which Hyatt was so deeply interested won high appreciation from the intelligent public of Boston, a concrete manifestation of which appeared after his death in the founding by general subscription of an endowment known as the Hyatt Memorial Fund, the income from which is used annually to transport school children from the city into the country in order that they may be taught to observe nature in the field.

Altogether Hyatt's best work, apart from his researches, was that among the school-teachers of Boston.

Mrs. Jennie Arms Sheldon, than whom none is better prepared to speak, states that "as a museum curator Hyatt never lost interest in the larger plan or 'scheme' which his comprehensive mind had worked out for the arrangement of the material at his command. His 'natural classification' claimed much of his time and thought, and lie sought to find assistants who could carry out the details which, naturally, did not interest a mind like his." His plan was that the museum should be so arranged that the visitor on entering should pass from the simple and more generalized groups to those more specialized. He possessed considerable mechanical skill, and delighted in hours of recreation to work as a carpenter and machinist upon his country place at Annisquam, and his invention, the "Hyatt bracket," has proved useful not only in museums but elsewhere.

At first sight, it must seem strange that so able, inspiring and lov-