The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.


INDICATIVE of the generally greater esteem in which the sciences have been held in the Middle West as compared with their status in institutions of the East, provision was made for the study of botany and zoology from the very beginning of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. That these subjects were to be well taught was made evident in the first appointment to the faculty, that of the immortal Asa Gray (M.D. Coll. of Physicians and Surgeons [West. Dist., N.Y.] '31, A.M. Harvard '44, LL.D. Michigan '87), whose compendium on taxonomic botany has been standard for many decades (see Part III: Department of Botany). On July 17, 1838, the Regents adopted the following resolution (R.P., 1837-64, p. 50): "Resolved, That Dr. Asa Gray be and he is hereby appointed Professor of Botany and Zoology in the University of Michigan, and that the committee on Professorships be instructed to correspond with Dr. Gray in detail relative to his appointment." His salary was to be $1,500.

Gray, whose doctorate was in medicine, not philosophy, did not, however, come to Ann Arbor. He was given leave of absence for a year to travel in Europe, was paid his stipulated salary to defray the expenses of the trip, and was asked to purchase books for the University library while abroad, to cost not more than $5,000. Even the following year (1839-40), Professor Gray did not come to the University, for it was not until the autumn of 1841 that the buildings and staff were ready for students in Ann Arbor. In April, 1840, Gray was asked to agree to a suspension of his salary for the second half of the school year, and assented. In the Regents' annual report of December 31, 1840, he was listed as Professor of Botany and Zoology in the Central Institute of the University at Ann Arbor, but he was not actually in residence. The only other faculty position similarly listed was that of Douglass Page  739Houghton as Professor of Mineralogy and Geology. Houghton was also state geologist, and received his salary in that capacity, but Asa Gray received no compensation. Although his professorship formally continued through the year 1841-42, it was still without service, residence, or salary. In May, 1842, he resigned to accept an appointment at Harvard College. Thus ends the first chapter of the history of zoology at the University of Michigan. The reasons for its hesitant start are well outlined by the resolution adopted by the Regents on Gray's resignation, namely, to accept the resignation, expressing regrets that the unavoidable delay in opening the University and the embarrassed condition of the finances for the last two years had occasioned the loss of the services of a gentleman whose qualifications were highly estimated.

The professorship of botany and zoology promptly went to Abram Sager (Rensselaer '31, M.D. Castleton Medical College '35, A.M. hon. Michigan '52), who like Asa Gray was a doctor of medicine. Sager seems not to have given the junior zoology course announced for the three autumn terms 1843-45, but was present in the summer term of 1845 and intermittently thereafter. Apparently, though he was urged to stay, he contemplated leaving the faculty in the fall of 1845, when the professorship of botany and zoology was added to that of chemistry, mineralogy, and geology, held by Douglass Houghton. Houghton was drowned in Lake Superior before he could assume his multiple duties, and Dr. Sager was again invited to serve during the following spring term. He declined, since he was practicing medicine in Jackson and did not wish to interrupt this private work for so short an engagement at so small a compensation. "As the Committee did not consider the subject of sufficient importance no other gentleman was engaged."

Sager was retained on the staff, at least by title, though with comparatively little teaching. In January, 1848, he was given a second position, that of Professor of the Theory and Practice of Medicine in the newly organized Department of Medicine and Surgery, and in July of that year a third position, that of University Librarian. His medical title was changed in January, 1850, to Professor of Obstetrics and Diseases of Women and Children, and later that year he was elected to the presidency of the medical faculty. In 1854 his medical title was again changed to that of Professor of Obstetrics and Physiology. All this time Dr. Sager was still Professor of Botany and Zoology and served as such in intermittent fashion. His medical work apparently claimed more and more of his time, however, and in March, 1855, he asked to be relieved of his duties in the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts, but retained his position in the Department of Medicine and Surgery.

Succeeding to the work in biology in 1855 was Alexander Winchell (Wesleyan '47, LL.D. ibid. '67), who became Professor of Geology, Zoology, and Botany. He came to this position from the chair of physics and civil engineering. In 1859 he became also state geologist. Under Winchell the college work in zoology promptly expanded, as is more especially noted later in connection with the curriculum. Under him also the development of the Museum appears to have started, with the appointment in 1863 of Carl Rominger, M.D., as Assistant Curator of the Museum of Natural History (see Part VIII: University Museums). Though a taxidermist had been employed ten years earlier under Sager, on a piecework basis, Rominger was apparently the first on annual appointment.

Winchell remained for many years, and from 1868 Mark Walrod Harrington Page  740('68, A.M. '71, LL.D. '94) was associated with him in the Museum as Assistant Curator. In 1873 Winchell resigned to become the chancellor of Syracuse University and was succeeded by Eugene Woldemar Hilgard (Ph.D. Heidelberg '53, LL.D. Michigan '87), to whose professorship mineralogy was added in 1874.

Hilgard remained only two years, then resigned to accept a position in the University of California. Under him for the first time there appeared more than two names on the roster of the staff of the department. Mark Harrington was promoted to an assistant professorship, and there were two assistants in the Museum. Harrington's position at first was in geology, zoology, and botany, but in 1874 it was narrowed by the omission of geology. When Hilgard left in 1875 Harrington was put in charge of zoology and botany, and never again was geology (except as paleontology) included with biology as the appointed field of any one member of the faculty (see Part III: Department of Botany and Department of Geology).

Joseph Beal Steere ('68, '70l, Ph.D. hon. '75) joined the department in 1876 as Assistant Professor of Paleontology and Curator of the Museum, and Volney Morgan Spalding ('73, Ph.D. Leipzig '94) came the same year as Instructor in Zoology and Botany. In 1879 zoology was separated from both botany and paleontology; Spalding's title was thereupon changed to Assistant Professor of Botany and Steere's to Professor of Zoology and Curator of the Museum; at the same time, Winchell returned to a chair of geology and paleontology. Thereafter, until 1885, only Steere's name and that of an assistant in the Museum appeared in connection with work in zoology.

In that year Howard Ayers joined the staff of the Department of Zoology for one year. He was succeeded by Jacob Ellsworth Reighard ('82, Sc.D. hon. '36), who continued many years. Others who were added to the faculty with the rank of instructor or higher were the following: Frederic Leonard Washburn (Harvard '82), 1887-88; Louis Murbach ('89, B.S.[Bio.] '90, Ph.D. Leipzig '94), 1891-93; Henry Baldwin Ward (Williams '85, Ph.D. Harvard '92, Sc.D. Cincinnati '20), 1892-93; and Dean Conant Worcester ('89, Sc.D. hon. '14), 1893-98.

Steere resigned in 1894, and Reighard, who had become Professor of Animal Morphology in 1892, took charge of the department. In 1895 he was officially designated as Professor of Zoology and Director of the Zoological Laboratory and Museum, and he continued as head of the Department of Zoology until 1925. Of the many new members added to the faculty of the department in this period, those who held the rank of instructor or higher included the following: Charles Atwood Kofoid (Oberlin '90, Sc.D. hon. ibid. '15, Ph.D. Harvard '94), 1894-95; Frank Rattray Lillie (Toronto '91, Ph.D. Chicago '94), 1894-99; John Black Johnston ('93, Ph.D. '99), 1897-99; Fanny Elizabeth Langdon ('96, M.S. '97), 1898-99; Herbert Spencer Jennings ('93, Ph.D. Harvard '96), 1899-1903; Samuel Jackson Holmes (California '93, Ph.D. Chicago '97), 1899-1905; Karl Wilhelm Genthe (Ph.D. Leipzig '97), 1899-1901; Raymond Pearl (Dartmouth '99, Sc.D. ibid. '19, Ph.D. Michigan '02), 1902-6; James Edwin Duerden (Ph.D. Johns Hopkins '00), 1903-5; Dana Brackenridge Casteel (Allegheny '99, Ph.D. Pennsylvania '03), 1905-9; Otto Charles Glaser (Johns Hopkins '00, Ph.D. ibid. '04), 1905-18; Horatio Hackett Newman (McMaster [Toronto] '96, Sc.D. ibid. '33, Ph.D. Chicago '05), 1905-8; Arthur Sperry Pearse (Nebraska '00, Ph.D. Harvard '08), 1908-11; Robert William Hegner (Chicago '03, Ph.D. Wisconsin '08), 1908-17; J. Frank Daniel, 1909-10; Peter Olaus Okkelberg Page  741(Minnesota '06, Ph.D. Michigan '18), 1910 — ; Aaron Franklin Shull ('08, Ph.D. Columbia '11), April 1911 — ; George Rogers La Rue (Doane '07, Ph.D. Illinois '11), 1911 — ; George Edwin Johnson (Dakota Wesleyan '13, M.S. Chicago '16), 1917-18; Paul Smith Welch (James Millikin '10, Ph.D. Illinois '13), 1918 — ; Lewis Victor Heilbrunn (Cornell '11, Ph.D. Chicago '14), 1919-29; Lloyd Evans Thatcher (Missouri '11), 1919-24; Frank Nelson Blanchard (Tufts '13, Ph.D. Michigan '19), 1919-37; Harry Thomas Folger (Indiana '17, Ph.D. Johns Hopkins '22), 1922-29; Amos Henry Hersh (Franklin and Marshall '14, Ph.D. Illinois '22), 1922-23; Carl Olaf Carlson (A.M. Columbia '18), 1924-25; and Arthur E. Woodhead (Clark '14, Ph.D. Michigan '28), 1924 — .

In the Museum, still connected during part of this time with the department, positions which were substantially equivalent to instructorships, but without teaching duties at first, were filled by: Herbert Edward Sargent, beginning in 1898; Charles Christopher Adams, 1903; and Alexander Grant Ruthven (Morningside '03, Ph.D. Michigan '06), 1906. Adams was made Instructor shortly after his service began, and he gave one course in the department. Dr. Ruthven had the rank of an instructor from the first, gave one course during his second year, and was designated Instructor in Zoology as well as Curator of the Museum in 1908. After that time he regularly gave instruction and remained a member of the teaching department, although the Museum was given wholly separate organization in 1909.

Professor Reighard withdrew from the chairmanship in 1925, and retired in 1927. The executive position in the department has been since 1925 successively held by A. Franklin Shull (two years), Alexander G. Ruthven (two years), Peter O. Okkelberg (four years), and George R. La Rue. More staff members were added during this period — Arthur M. Chickering, 1925-26; Melville H. Hatch, 1925-26; Theodore C. Byerley, 1926-28; Frank Egbert Eggleton (Hillsdale '22, Ph.D. Michigan '30), 1926 — ; Horace Wenger Feldman (Purdue '21, Sc.D. Harvard '25), 1927-29; Gordon Lynn Walls (B.S.Eng. Tufts '26, Sc.D. Michigan '31), 1927-31; Harry Wilbur Hann (Indiana '17, Ph.D. Michigan '26), 1928 — ; Alfred Henry Stockard (Wyoming '25, Ph.D. Michigan '32), 1928 — ; Wendell Henry Krull (Upper Iowa University '21, Ph.D. Michigan '31), 1928-29; and Alvalyn Eunice Woodward (Rochester '05, Ph.D. Michigan '18), 1929 — . Omitted from these lists are names of recognizedly temporary appointees — in the classification of well advanced students doing graduate work, then called instructors (on a part-time basis) but now called teaching fellows. Names not followed by a definite term of service are those of the present staff.

The considerable number of those named in the preceding paragraphs who were at the University only a few years gives point to the comment made long ago that the University of Michigan was preparing the faculties of other universities for them. Among the institutions to receive zoologists directly or indirectly from the University of Michigan are Amherst College and the following universities: California, Chicago, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Maine, Texas, Washington, Iowa, Johns Hopkins, and Western Reserve.

The zoology curriculum. — When the department consisted of one man, and only a few courses could be given, the nature of the offerings fluctuated considerably over a period of years, for the courses reflected the faculty's training and interest. Had Asa Gray ever taught at the University, it is certain Page  742that systematic botany would have received a large share of attention. Dr. Sager's courses were scattered in time, and there are few descriptions of them to indicate their content. A junior course was announced for the three fall terms before 1846 but probably not given. He taught biology in the summers of 1845, 1847, and 1848. After that time both zoology and botany were scheduled for the third term of the freshman year, again without description. In the 1852-53 Catalogue is given the first inkling of the nature of any course: seniors were given "the general and comparative physiology of animals, their classification, habits, and relation to human interests." In 1845 the Regents had considerately allowed the faculty to choose books to accompany the course in zoology; the texts selected, as specified in the 1852-53 Catalogue, were Agassiz and Gould's Zoology and Edward's Cours de zoologie. In 1852-53 an agricultural course was planned (though it was probably never given) and was described as follows: "Lectures on Animal and Vegetable Physiology, and Physiology in general, Physiology and diseases of domestic animals in particular, and the structure and habits of insects, in relation to grains, trees and horticultural plants."

With the advent of Alexander Winchell in 1855 the zoology curriculum expanded, and so did the descriptions of courses. Seniors were required in the first semester to take a course which was described at length in the Catalogue as involving the "organization of … animals as the basis of their systematic classification; … physiology, comprising … sources and modes of nutrition, … development and dissemination; … geographical distribution and economical history." Laboratory work was available at choice: "Besides the instruction of the lecture room, the professor will afford facilities for those who desire them, for the more careful and minute examination and study of objects, and the determination of species." Vacations were wisely used: "Short excursions will be undertaken in term times, and longer ones in vacation for the purpose of bringing students into actual and direct communication with nature."

In Winchell's second year the required course was shifted to the junior year, and seniors might elect the flexible three- or six-day, one- or two-semester course, Comparative Anatomy and Physiology and the Principles of Classification in the Animal Kingdom. It consisted of lectures "amply illustrated by a complete suite of the birds which visit Michigan and a collection of 2,000 species of shells, … and means unsurpassed for microscopical observations." The student, the Catalogue said, "is accompanied on frequent excursions into the neighborhood, and such as desire it are permitted to engage in investigations under the eye of the Professor, in the Laboratory attached to this department." To the textbooks and references announced in Sager's time were added: Agassiz, Gould, and Perty, Lehrbuch der Zoologie; Woodward, Recent and Fossil Shells; Carpenter, General and Comparative Physiology; and a year later, Owen, Vertebrate Skeleton and Teeth.

In 1862-63 and thereafter Professor Winchell offered, for candidates for the master's degree, a course of lectures known as the Vertebrate Skeleton — Its Morphology and Homologies. In 1874-75 a Polytechnic School was organized as a part of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts — which then included the work in pharmacy, as well as in engineering — to administer advanced courses in the mathematical, physical, and natural sciences and their applications to the arts. The Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts required that juniors in the scientific Page  743course "pursue a course in structural and physiological zoology, with a free use of the microscope, diagrams, magic-lantern slides, and specimens from the Museum." The effect of combining in one chair the fields of geology and zoology is evident in the following statement: "The elective course of the Senior year is a course in systematic zoology as a preparation for geology." The textbooks in zoology were "Nicholson's series." In the Polytechnic School: "A special course in Zoology runs through the whole year. During the first semester the student pursues Comparative Anatomy and Physiology … In the second semester Anatomy and Physiology are completed, and a class of animals is selected and their classification studied."

The first biology course was given in 1875, when Assistant Professor Harrington combined plants and animals in one presentation, which was announced as follows (Cal., 1875-76, pp. 43-44):

The members of the Scientific and of the Latin and Scientific Sections of the Junior Class can elect a course in Biology … [in] the first semester. It consists of the study of as many typical forms of animals and plants as can be considered in the time allotted … The text-book … is McGinley's Biology. …

In the second semester of the Junior year, the members of the Scientific Section are required to take a course … in Embryology. The development of the chick in the hen's egg will be followed in detail, microscopically and otherwise. The text-book … will be Foster and Balfour's Elements of Embryology, Part I.

An elective course for seniors, Paleontology, was offered. Comparative Anatomy and Physiology, followed by Systematic Zoology, were available in the Polytechnic School, and advanced students had an opportunity to do some work in histology (mostly human).

Embryology was omitted when Steere took charge of the department in 1877, but was restored five years later. Emphasis was put upon comparative anatomy and classification. Insects and mollusks were favored as material for classification, for the separate courses Entomology (1879) and Conchology (1880) were introduced. Histology, with Physics and Chemistry as prerequisites, was offered to zoology students, but by a Medical Department professor.

Professor Reighard joined the faculty in 1886. A year later the elementary course again became a biology course, this time given jointly by a botanist and a zoologist, an arrangement which continued until 1916. In 1889 the work in zoology was divided into General Zoology, taught by Steere, and Animal Morphology, given by Reighard. This separation was made more complete in 1892 by the formation of distinct departments, Steere becoming Professor of Systematic Zoology and Reighard Professor of Animal Morphology. In the Department of Animal Morphology were the courses Invertebrate Morphology, Mammalian Anatomy, Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates, and Embryology. Histology, though offered to zoology students, was largely provided by the Department of Medicine and Surgery. A journal club and field club were established and flourished many years.

With the resignation of Professor Steere in 1894, the Department of Systematic Zoology suffered a decline. Two years later the whole curriculum in zoology underwent reorganization. Invertebrate zoology was expanded; a separate course in evolution was introduced; the work in embryology included a course on the mechanism of development which had begun under Kofoid in 1894 with the title the Animal Egg, but which was now changed, first to Physiological Morphology, then to Experimental Morphology; and a course entitled Morphology and Page  744Development of the Frog was made prerequisite to Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates. Courses in entomology and parasitology were added temporarily in 1899 to fit the interests of a new member of the staff. To help with the work of the laboratory there was created among the students a corps of voluntary assistants, who, in return for their service, received credit in teacher training.

Because of the multiplicity of courses given since 1900 — introduced partly in recognition of the expansion of the subject and partly in response to demand from other units of the University or because of changes in secondary schools — a strict adherence to chronological order becomes confusing, and the developments are better followed by subjects.

As to physiology, the first course definitely in this field was established as Physiological Zoology in 1901, though Holmes's course of the year before, Animal Behavior, was largely physiology. Physiological Zoology was divided into two courses in 1915, under Glaser, but with his resignation in 1918 these were changed to Physiology and Mammalian Anatomy, with Okkelberg in charge. When Heilbrunn came General Physiology was resurrected, and both this and Mammalian Anatomy and Physiology, as well as the Seminar in Physiology, were offered. Physiology was dropped in 1928, but restored in 1930 as Comparative Physiology under Woodward.

Natural history, aside from the field work included in a number of courses, had its first recognition in the ecology course given by Adams in 1903. Ecology was taken over later by Dr. Ruthven and its subject matter was partly included in his course Zoogeography after 1909. Fresh-Water Biology was started by Pearse in 1908, was taken over by Shull in 1911, and was incorporated in Reighard's Natural History of Invertebrates in 1916. The latter course went to Blanchard in 1925 with the more inclusive title Natural History of Animals, but a year later Fresh-Water Biology was made a separate course, whereas the natural history course concerned only the vertebrates. Fresh-Water Biology was finally abandoned in 1928 in favor of the related Limnology, by Welch. Ornithology became a separate course in 1930-31, first given by Blanchard, later by Hann.

Genetics was represented only in the experimental morphology course until 1904, when Pearl offered the lecture course called Heredity. This course was taken over by Newman in 1906, by Glaser in 1909, and by Shull in 1919. Genetics, a more advanced, one-semester lecture course given by Shull, was first scheduled in 1911. In 1916 a second semester, including laboratory work, was offered, but it was discontinued in 1919. For some years thereafter Genetics was given co-operatively by the Department of Botany (represented by Professor H. H. Bartlett) and the Department of Zoology, but this plan was discontinued in 1927. There was an expansion of the work in genetics during President Little's administration, but no additional course was offered. Feldman gave Genetics in 1927-28, with laboratory work, and Shull took it over in 1929-30. From then until 1932 the work covered the entire year, but since that date it has occupied only the first semester.

Biometry was represented by a course entitled Statistical Zoology, by Pearl, from 1902 to 1906. Thereafter it was omitted — except as a part of Genetics when the latter course was given jointly by the Departments of Botany and Zoology throughout the year — until 1932. At that time a course called Quantitative Biology was started by Shull.

Embryology was a standard course during all this period, sometimes branching out into its genetic implications, as in Page  745Holmes's Morphogenesis in 1904. The main course was given by Glaser in 1905, and has been given by Okkelberg since 1918. Entomology was revived when Hegner came to the University, was variously subdivided by him, and was then contracted to a single course under Welch in 1917; finally, it was supplemented by Insect Morphology and Insect Histology, in 1928. Cytology was begun by Hegner under the title Cellular Biology in 1913, was discontinued when he left the University in 1917, and was partially restored in 1928 by Okkelberg along with Histology and Microtechnique. Comparative Anatomy was given by Reighard until 1916, then was turned over to Okkelberg, and, finally, was turned over to Stockard, in 1933. Parasitology was first given by George R. La Rue in 1914-15, Helminthology was added in 1928-29, and the related Protozoology was first given as a separate course in 1931-32 by Assistant Professor Woodhead with the co-operation of Assistant Professor O'Roke of the School of Forestry and Conservation. Fishes were treated in a separate course as early as 1904 in Fish and Fisheries of Michigan, by Reighard; this was changed to Fish and Game of Michigan, for forestry students, in 1909; and, finally, Elementary Ichthyology was given in 1930-31 by John Richard Greeley of the Museum staff. Evolution, long given by Reighard as a one-hour lecture course in the evening, was expanded to two hours and was given in the morning; then in 1925 it was turned over to Shull.

The training of teachers and of other professional biologists began with the corps of voluntary assistants under Holmes, as already mentioned (p. 744). In 1909-10 this work was expanded into Comparative Histology (still largely technique), in the first semester, and Zoology for Teachers, in the second. When Histology was revived in 1928-29 the laboratory-methods course was reduced to one semester. Educational methods have been dealt with in Biology for Teachers, given co-operatively for a number of years by George R. La Rue, of the Department of Zoology, and Felix G. Gustafson, of the Department of Botany. Museum Methods, given by Ruthven and various members of the Museum staff since 1918, provided training for museum workers.

Several attempts to reach students not specializing in biology have been made from time to time. In a sense, the courses Evolution and Heredity belong here, but they are intended for biologists also. In 1906 a course called Short Course in Zoology was offered to forestry students, but it was open also to others. This became Economic Zoology in 1912, and in 1915, Wild Animals: Their Conservation and Value to Man. At about the same time, an evening lecture course known as Functions and Activities of Animals was given co-operatively by the staff, but this course was short-lived.

The elementary course underwent certain radical changes, beginning in 1916. Before that time it consisted of two courses, one in botany, one in zoology, each one extending through the year and having no relation to the other except that students elected both courses at the same time. These courses were now separated, each was given in one semester, and students elected them successively, either one first. That arrangement still prevails. In the spring semester of 1917, beginning students were offered an alternative course, devoted not to dissection of animal types but to biological principles, and one section pursued this course. The next fall the entire beginning class was given the new-style course, which has been widely copied, in whole or in part, in other institutions. Essentially the same course prevails today. In 1929-30 beginning students were again Page  746offered a biology course given by the Departments of Botany and Zoology co-operatively, but this was discontinued two years later.

The general policy determining the selection of courses to be offered has been to provide training in all the fundamental branches of zoology, and from these as a base to extend as far as possible, or as far as the demand warrant's into the specialized fields represented by the interests of the staff.

Research in zoology. — Sager, the first Professor of Zoology actually to serve in that capacity, published little or nothing in zoology; no articles by him have been found. Winchell was primarily a geologist, and only his paleontological contributions in that field, of which there were several, belong in this account. Those which may be said to represent investigation concerned the succession of organic types (1858), fossil elephants (1863, 1864), and a family of fossil hydrozoans (1866). Along strictly zoological lines, he described a new species of gar pike in 1864, and perhaps his article on the currant worm (1864) represents original work. Besides these he wrote many popular articles on natural science, education, and religion.

Steere traveled round the world, and a number of his articles relate to the animals observed and collected, particularly in the Philippines. These publications based on his travels appeared chiefly in the years 1874-94; there was one belated article in 1903. His other papers dealt chiefly with the birds and mammals of Michigan.

Reighard had shown an early interest in meteorology, but by the time he came to the University he had transferred his interests to anatomy and histology, in which fields he had published studies as early as 1884. His early work at the University was on the embryology of fishes (1888-93). By 1893, however, his interests were turning to plankton studies, and his papers up to 1899 were mostly in that field. In 1900 he returned to fishes, primarily the embryology, but also the breeding habits, of the fresh-water dogfish Amia. This study of breeding habits initiated a long period of investigation of behavior of animals in nature, which was reflected in the work of his students of that period, and which included a notable study of the supposed warning color of coral-reef fishes (1908). Fishes still constituted Reighard's chief research interest until toward the time of his retirement, when an unfortunate deafness led him to investigate methods of speech reading; and since 1924 he has published many articles on speech reading. Among his publications was the celebrated study Anatomy of the Cat, issued jointly with Herbert S. Jennings in 1901, which was based partly on first-hand research.

The trend of research in the Department of Zoology, aside from the research carried on by Reighard himself, has been determined by the interests of many people, some connected with the department only a few years. Jennings, a specialist in rotifers before he came to the University, turned to protozoa while he was here, and through them to animal behavior. Lillie was interested in regeneration and embryology. Johnston was already a neurologist. Most of Holmes's published work dealt with animal behavior. Pearl started in animal behavior, but showed a strong leaning toward biometric studies of variation before he left. Behavior of turtles and fishes, leading to developmental studies of heredity in fishes, occupied Newman during his short stay. Ruthven has been interested in ecology and geographic distribution, particularly of reptiles (see Part VIII: Museum of Zoology). Embryology was the subject of Glaser's early researches; he later turned gradually to physiology. Hegner's many published Page  747researches show a long-continued interest in the germ-cell cycle, particularly in insects. At the time of his stay here, Pearse was concerned with diverse phases of natural history. Shull has worked chiefly on the parthenogenetic-bisexual reproductive cycle in several groups of animals (rotifers, thrips, white flies, aphids), and on the genetic, developmental, and physiological problems connected with these cycles, with a turn in late years to the genetics of Drosophila. La Rue's field has been parasitology, his publications largely having dealt with trematode cycles and morphology; Woodhead's interests are similar. Germcell cycles and various morphological and developmental problems related to them have occupied Okkelberg and his students. Since coming to the University, Welch has worked on aquatic life — biology of oligochaete worms, physiology of aquatic insects, and limnological studies of Michigan lakes. Aquatic life is also Eggleton's field of research. Heilbrunn was a general physiologist, working mainly on marine eggs. Blanchard published a number of works on the natural history of reptiles and amphibia. Woodward has published studies of the physiology of fertilization, and is directing her students in research in the physiology of reproduction in vertebrates. Hann started with the germ-cell cycle of fishes, but has turned to ornithology.

An indication of the growth of research in zoology at the University is the number of doctor of philosophy degrees in that field. The first was granted in 1899 to John B. Johnston, the second in 1902 to Raymond Pearl. Up to and including the year 1924 a total of fourteen doctorates had been given. In 1925 there was a notable increase, and since that time there has been an average of more than seven each year, the highest number in any one year being seventeen. The total, through June, 1940, is 143.

The publications of the department, most of them based on research, number at least 617; it has been impossible to locate all of them. This number includes only books and articles published while the authors were at the University of Michigan or based on work they have done at the University either as students or as members of the faculty.

The standing of the University as a research center in the field of zoology is indicated by a study made in 1933-34 by the American Council on Education, in which the universities of America were rated by a vote of eminent scholars in the several fields. This study indicated that the University of Michigan is one of eleven institutions which are distinguished as places for graduate study leading to the doctorate in zoology, and that the Department of Zoology is one of fourteen departments in the University holding such distinction.

Plant and equipment. — When the first classes in zoology assembled, presumably in 1845, the instruction was given entirely by means of lectures, sometimes with meager demonstrations. There was no laboratory, no equipment, and there were only such collections as the professor privately owned. Abram Sager made the first collections, and the Regents paid a taxidermist to care for some of them. Around the "cabinet of specimens" the entire work of the department was organized. The Catalogue described the collections of the Department of Natural History in 1850-51 (p. 24) as embracing "a valuable cabinet of Minerals, consisting of between four and five thousand specimens and suits of specimens illustrative of the Geology, Zoology and Botany of Michigan." In 1853 the Regents appropriated "the sum of $138.00 for the Zoological Department," and this money was used to add to the collections.

It seems evident that the first microscope Page  748used in the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts was that provided by action of the Regents in March, 1856: "Resolved, That Professors Sager and Winchell be a committee to contract for the construction of such a microscope with accessories as they may deem the interests of the University demand" (R.P., 1837-64, p. 640). This instrument cost $450; later, a two-inch objective costing $19 was added to it.

In 1858 a most important addition to the teaching material was made by the acquisition of the Trowbridge collection. The Catalogue of that year says:

… The Trowbridge Collection … is an extensive series of specimens in all the classes of the Animal Kingdom, made by Lieut. Trowbridge (late Professor in the University) upon the Pacific coast of our country; it furnishes a complete illustration of the Fauna of that coast, and will raise the University collection to a rank among the very first in the country.

(Cat., 1858-59, p. 56.)
As was stated in connection with the curriculum, there was at that time also a "complete suite of Birds which visit Michigan," and a collection of two thousand species of snails; and the one microscope owned constituted "means unsurpassed for microscopical observations."

An oven "to protect the Zoological Specimens" was provided in 1861 at a cost of $15, and by 1867 the department had "a very large Zoological Collection … The whole number of entries in the Zoological Cabinet [was] over 6,300, and the whole number of specimens not less than 16,000." Important additions to the collections were made by Steere on his five-year tour of the world in the early seventies and were mentioned in the Calendar of 1875-76: "The Steere Zoological Collection, comprising about 25,000 insects, 1,500 shells, 8,000 birds, and numerous representatives of other groups; total, about 10,000 entries and 60,000 specimens." Steere also brought numerous botanical and mineral specimens.

Just when additional microscopes were purchased is uncertain, but in 1875 it was said: "The Microscopical Laboratory is now so well supplied with instruments that it can respond to any moderate demand" (Cal., 1875-76, p. 73). There were instruments for making slides, for drawing and measuring with the microscope, for "microchemical work and other methods of observation," and for physiological studies. Furniture, skeletons, and dissection materials were being acquired annually, and from this time on there was a continuous but uneven growth of the equipment for zoological work. But the acquisitions were crude, judged according to present standards. The microscopes purchased even as late as 1885 were, as described by Professor Reighard, "simple in type with no fine adjustment, no condenser, no nose-piece; provided only with the two objectives and two oculars."

The building which first housed the Department of Zoology was, so far as the oldest records show, Mason Hall, which for some years after 1848 was called North College (see Part VIII: First Buildings). Winchell's lecture room, according to Edward Laurens Mark ('71, LL.D. '96), was on the first floor between the two corridors, and other near-by rooms were used for storage. During the greater part of Steere's incumbency the room above this lecture room and the first floor at the north end were museum space, and the southeast corner of the first floor was also occupied by the Department of Zoology. A little later the three main rooms of the department were: (1) a combined lecture room and laboratory, about forty feet square, used largely for identification of species, (2) a smaller room of similar function, about twenty by twenty-five feet, and (3) a third-floor room of about twenty by forty feet. Kitchen tables of oak and Page  749chairs to match were the principal furniture, of which a few articles are still in occasional use.

Some easement of the space limitations was provided by the erection in 1879-80 of the Museum Building (now Romance Language Building). This structure was described in the University Calendar of that year as of Neo-Gothic style, one hundred and twenty feet long and forty-seven feet wide, and four stories high. The natural history collections were moved into it in the fall of 1880. In 1885 another large room on the third floor of Mason Hall was turned over to the Department of Zoology; it was first occupied by Howard Ayres, then by Professor Reighard.

An epoch in the expansion of the department was marked by its removal from Mason Hall to the third floor of the South Wing in the summer of 1892. Shortly thereafter the second floor was also acquired, and these two floors constituted the zoological laboratory until 1915. New furniture — including standard tables for two or four students — was built for the new quarters; a departmental library was established; the collection of lantern slides grew rapidly; and various other rooms for storage, private laboratories, and live animals were provided through remodeling. At the time of this removal the department owned only one set of microscope slides, a set illustrating cell division; it was the policy to have students make their own slides in courses. The supplies of the department were accessible to the staff, and each man helped himself, leaving no record of his withdrawals. Equipment suitable for the expanding subject was steadily added — microtomes, paraffin baths, photographic apparatus, aquaria, more microscopes — though never as rapidly as the staff of the department wished. A significant feature of this increase in equipment was that a large part of it was intended primarily for research. It was a steady growth, unmarked by any startling new development or change of policy.

The next important year for the department was 1913. The legislature of the state voted that year an appropriation of $375,000 for the construction of the present Natural Science Building. Scarcely had the first steps been taken to plan the building when, on May 28, the old laboratories in the South Wing were destroyed by fire. Courses were left unfinished, but credit was given, and students who had taken this work in the previous year wondered why they never had any luck. Fortunately, the building and its contents were covered by insurance. The reconstruction and replacement were promptly begun, and by the autumn of 1913 the rebuilt laboratories, with a number of new microscopes and some other new apparatus, were ready for students. Some things destroyed, however, were unfortunately irreplaceable. One tragic result was the loss of all data and specimens pertaining to the investigations of a graduate student, who had to start all over again.

In 1915 the department moved into its new fireproof quarters in the Natural Science Building. This structure was still not quite finished, and for a time lecturers competed with hammers and saws and the shouts of workmen. The Department of Zoology occupied the northwest part — in all, about one-fourth of the building, substantially the same part of each of the four floors. Much new equipment was obtained for the new laboratories. In a brochure prepared for an exhibit arranged by all the departments in the Natural Science Building in 1917 was the following description of the section reserved for zoology:

There are seventy rooms in all, including class rooms, student laboratories, private laboratories for instructors and assistants, Page  750a cave in the subbasement, and rooms for aquaria, for making preparations, for chemicals, for photographic work, for constant temperature experiments, for light-reaction studies, for charts, for storage, and a shop for making scientific apparatus.

Changes in the zoology curriculum, exceptional expansion of certain types of work, and the general growth of the University have necessitated modification of these quarters. Some walls have been removed, others have been built in, and the functions of rooms have been changed. Among other things not in the original building but described in the Announcement of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts for 1939-40 are laboratories for parasitology, a laboratory for genetics, and laboratories for groups of graduate students. A dispensary replaced a seminar room; the shop was moved to larger quarters previously used as a preparation room; a class laboratory replaced the departmental museum; and many other exchanges were made.

Commodious as the department's quarters were in the early years of the Natural Science Building, they are now badly crowded. The laboratories used for the elementary course are occupied from early morning to late afternoon on every teaching day, and no more can be done without seriously impairing the quality of the work. Additions to the building are probably not feasible. At the beginning of the University's second century in Ann Arbor a physical transfer of the department comparable to that of 1892 or of 1915 is, as pharmacopoeia books are wont to say, "indicated."


Announcement, Department [College, 1915 — ] of Literature, Science, and the Arts, Univ. Mich., 1878-1940.
Calendar, Univ. Mich., 1871-1914. (Cal.)
Catalogue …, Univ. Mich., 1844-71, 1914-23. (Cat.)
Catalogue and Register, Univ. Mich., 1923-27.
General Register Issue, Univ. Mich., 1927-40.
Hinsdale, Burke A.History of the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1906.
La Rue, George R., and Others. MS, "Jacob E. Reighard."In MS, "Minutes of the Meetings of the Faculty … College of Literature, Science, and the Arts," Univ. Mich., Apr. 6, 1942. 1940 — , pp. 834-40.
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1871-1909, 1926-27.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1864-1940.
Shull, A. Franklin. "Jacob Ellsworth Reighard."Science, n.s., 95 (1942): 344-46.
Steere, Joseph B."A Naturalist Pioneer in South America."Mich. Alum. Quart. Rev., 44 (1938): 331-44.
Steere, Joseph B."An American Naturalist in the Far East."Mich. Alum. Quart. Rev., 45 (1938): 47-61.
University of Michigan Regents' Proceedings …, 1837-1864. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1915. (R.P., 1837-64.)