1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Agassiz, Alexander Emanuel

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AGASSIZ, ALEXANDER EMANUEL (1835–1910), American man of science, son of J. L. R. Agassiz, was born in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, on the 17th of December 1835. He came to the United States with his father in 1846; graduated at Harvard in 1855, subsequently studying engineering and chemistry, and taking the degree of bachelor of science at the Lawrence scientific school of the same institution in 1857; and in 1859 became an assistant in the United States Coast Survey. Thenceforward he became a specialist in marine ichthyology, but devoted much time to the investigation, superintendence and exploitation of mines, being superintendent of the Calumet and Hecla copper mines, Lake Superior, from 1866 to 1869, and afterwards, as a stockholder, acquiring a fortune, out of which he gave to Harvard, for the museum of comparative zoology and other purposes, some $500,000. In 1875 he surveyed Lake Titicaca, Peru, examined the copper mines of Peru and Chile, and made a collection of Peruvian antiquities for that museum, of which he was curator from 1874 to 1885. He assisted Sir Wyville Thomson in the examination and classification of the collections of the “Challenger” exploring expedition, and wrote the Review of the Echini (2 vols., 1872–1874) in the reports. Between 1877 and 1880 he took part in the three dredging expeditions of the steamer “Blake,” of the United States Coast Survey, and presented a full account of them in two volumes (1888). Of his other writings on marine zoology, most are contained in the bulletins and memoirs of the museum of comparative zoology; but he published in 1865 (with Elizabeth Cary Agassiz, his step-mother) Seaside Studies in Natural History, a work at once exact and stimulating, and in 1871 Marine Animals of Massachusetts Bay.