Louis Agassiz established in 1873 a marine biological laboratory on the Island of Penikese in Buzzard 's Bay, south of Wood's Hole. Following his death the school was abandoned, but the plan was renewed in 1880 by the establishment of a seaside laboratory at Annisquam, in which Alpheus Hyatt was especially active. In 1888, the laboratory was reorganized and placed at Wood's Hole, where Spencer Baird had in 1881 established the marine laboratory of the U. S. Fish Commission. The natural advantages of fauna, climate and accessibility make Wood's Hole an ideal situation, and under the direction of C. O. Whitman a group of investigators gathered there in the summer who made the laboratory the chief center of biological research in this country and elsewhere only rivaled by Naples. After the death of Whitman, Professor Frank R. Lillie, of the University of Chicago, was made director, and later Professor Gilman A. Drew became assistant director, residing permanently at Wood's Hole. The laboratory has continued to grow in size and influence until last year there were 122 investigators and 69 students at work. If they were paid for their investigations at the rate other research institutions pay the cost would be more than half a million dollars a year.
As a matter of fact the laboratory has been conducted practically without endowment and with the simplest buildings and equipment. Some thirty universities and other institutions have cooperated in a modest way, but the work of the laboratory has been essentially a contribution of the biologists working there. There was urgent need of a fire-proof building that could remain open in the winter, and this has now been provided by Mr. Charles R. Crane, of Chicago, who in recent years has been the generous and sympathetic patron of the laboratory.
The building, an illustration of which is here shown, was planned by Mr. Charles Coolidge, of Boston, his designs being a gift to the laboratory, of which he has long been a trustee. The detailed arrangements are the result of much study with the help of many biologists and other laboratory men, and they have been admirably carried out by the assistant director, Dr. Drew. The building—50 X 90 feet—is constructed of tapestry brick with wide joints resting on a granite foundation, and trimmed with gray stone. It faces south on the Wood's Hole Harbor, about 150 feet away. The basement contains the chemical-supply room,, janitor's quarters, heating plant, packing room and toilets. The first floor is. divided into research rooms for zoology and physiology. A library with shelving for 20,000 volumes occupies the south half of the second floor with accession and storage rooms. The remainder of the floor and the third floor are occupied by research rooms. The roof carries a tank house with two tanks for salt water of 10,000 gallons each. The. entire interior construction is of steel and reinforced concrete, with partitions of tile and granolithic floors, completely fire-proof.
The salt-water circulation is driven by electric automatically controlled motors, which open into two hard rubber pumps with a daily capacity of 75,000 gallons each. A gasolene engine is held in reserve in case of breakdown of the electric power service. The pipes and valves are all of lead, so that metallic contamination of the water can not possibly occur; the harbor water is