Date: 9/24/17 9:28 am From: Bill Whan <billwhan...> Subject: [Ohio-birds] Info needed on Mrs. G. W. Bannon, taxidermist of Portsmouth, Ohio, circa 1888
I am interested in Mrs. G. W. Bannon's accomplishments in taxidermy in the late 19th century. Her work involved a large exhibit in 1888 on the birds of Scioto County for the State Fair, which won a medal. The local paper in Portsmouth reported that "Much of Mrs. Bannon's collection is in the State Archaeological and Historical Museum in Columbus now." In 1894 this collection was moved to the Ohio State University campus and curated by faculty; it and other collections formed the beginning of the University's biological collection, which now has over 25,000 bird specimens. As of now the collection has 121 specimens from Scioto County, which is an unusually large one for an Ohio county of its size, and it is not unusual for specimens from Ohio to have been donated to the Museum without location data. Such is the case for many of OSU's sandhill crane specimens. It is not unusual for museums just getting started to swap specimens, and it is possible some of Bannon's collection was traded with other institutions. At that time in history sandhill cranes were still seen in large numbers in their migrations through Ohio, and a fair number of nesters could still be found. I spent a lot of effort trying to locate an existing Ohio specimen of this species; there are lots of specimens around, but finding one from Ohio was difficult. The curator of the University of Michigan Museum told me they had a single Ohio specimen; other data were missing, but it is possible this bird went to Michigan as part of a swap early in the past century; it was hardly rare at the time. I would like to know more about the Bannon collection, which must have been inventoried at some time--a time when cranes passed through southern Ohio in large numbers. Is there an inventory of Bannon's collection--one hopes with dates and locations of collections-- after many years, we have an Ohio specimen, and it would be fitting if we could thank Mrs. Bannon for it. Any help would be very welcome... --Bill Whan
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