The Zoologist/4th series, vol 1 (1897)/Issue 672/Obituary: Abraham Dee Bartlett

Obituary: Abraham Dee Bartlett (1897)
by Edward Bartlett
4055928Obituary: Abraham Dee Bartlett1897Edward Bartlett


Abraham Dee Bartlett.

Mr. A.D. Bartlett, late Superintendent of the Zoological Gardens, was born in London on October 27th, 1812, and died on May 7th last. He received a humble education in London, and at a very early age evinced a great delight in all matters connected with Natural History, and commenced business as a taxidermist in a house in Little Russell Street. In those early days scientific men and collectors of rare birds, and especially birds' eggs, made his shop a perfect resort, and his extraordinary art in taxidermy became so widespread that he was obliged to remove into larger premises; and there are few, if any, of those early zoologists and collectors left to remember that he started again in a large house in Great College Street, Camden Town. In that place his circle of admirers increased, and his first connection with the Zoological Society of London commenced. His first communication to that learned Society occurred in 1839, and from that time he worked not only for the Society, but for nearly all the scientific men and established museums, including the Queen and the late Prince Consort. It was in that house that he prepared all his exhibits for the 1851 Exhibition, and among them were, by permission, several of the Queen's specimens which are now believed to be at Windsor Castle. After the close of the Exhibition of 1851 the Crystal Palace Company started, and, not being able to find a more proficient taxidermist, engaged him as Superintendent to form the Natural History department in the South Transept; afterwards adding to his charge the aviaries and aquarium in the North Transept, besides which he attended to endless matters of a similar character in other places.

After working laboriously for the Crystal Palace up to 1859, on the death of Mr. John Thompson, then Superintendent of the Zoological Society, Dr. P.L. Sclater, the newly appointed Secretary, in course of conversation with Mr. Henry Walter, of 'The Times,' remarked that they were seeking a new man for the post. Mr. Walter at once recommended Mr. Bartlett, and he was immediately communicated with, and accepted the post, which he held to the end of his life.

It would be difficult, and beyond the limits of this Journal, to give a detailed insight into the vast amount of work carried out during the years from 1859 to the present day, which, we are given to understand, will be compiled before long in a more collected and chronological form.

Mr. Bartlett was awarded the medal for taxidermy at the 1851 Exhibition, the bronze and silver medals of the Zoological Society, and a very large series of the highest testimonials from different societies and exhibitions. He also received the bronze medal, conjointly with his eldest son Edward, at the 1872 Exhibition, and testimonials, with his sons Edward and Clarence, at the Colonial Exhibition.

During the years he passed in the Zoological Gardens he became more closely connected with the scientific world, and devoted his whole time and energy to the study of animal life, which all those who knew him can testify. He was a man of vast resource and quick perception, in many difficult cases was always ready to help those around him out of their almost hopeless position, kind to all classes of society, and at the same time of a retiring nature, never wishing to force himself upon society.—(Edward Bartlett).

Fritz Müller.

The death of this well-known biologist is announced as having taken place at Blumenau, Santa Catarina, Brazil, on May 21st. Dr. Fritz Müller was an observant and philosophical naturalist, of whom frequent mention is made by Darwin in the 'Origin' and ' Descent,' and who is also to be remembered by his volume entitled 'Facts and Arguments for Darwin' (English transl.). He also contributed some original observations and suggestions on the subjects of Mimicry in Butterflies and Coloration of Caterpillars, and was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Entomological Society of London in 1884.

This work was published before January 1, 1929, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

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