Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 8.djvu/719

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
699
MUSEUM GODEFFROY.

different people. In some, the hatching period, if it may be called such, is long, in some short, the differences depending upon the different degree of preparedness of the contagium.

The authors refers with particular satisfaction to the untiring-patience, the admirable experimental skill, the veracity in thought, word, and deed, displayed throughout the inquiry by his assistant Mr. John Cottrell, who was zealously aided by his junior colleague Mr. Frank Valter.

 

MUSEUM GODEFFROY.
By Prof. HENRY A. WARD.

IN one of the quarters of the "old city" in Hamburg, untouched by the great fire of 1842, is a little square around which crowd tall, narrow buildings with high, pointed roofs. The quaint architecture, the flat barges in the canal, and the queer trucks with harness enough on each horse to stock a team of four, remind one of the middle ages; but the busy railway-station near by and the forest of shipping on the Elbe bearing the flags of every civilized nation tell us that this is the great commercial port of Northern Europe. Here lives Herr Cæsar Godeffroy, one of the merchant-princes of Hamburg, whose ships for half a century have been sailing over every ocean. His great wealth has been expended liberally and in many ways, as Hamburgers all bear witness. But in one unique method Herr Godeffroy has long been doing a great work for science in Europe—a work that has made his name honored among the savants of Germany. This is the originating and sustaining an immense museum, now called after his name; an establishment which has for its object the collection and distribution of zoölogical material, especially in the department of the invertebrates.

Herr Godeffroy had a deep love for the beautiful and rare in Nature, and his captains brought to him contributions from all seas. This plan he encouraged, and finally enjoined it upon them, furnishing them before each departure with nets, dredges, casks of alcohol, and other equipments for collecting largely wherever they went. Most of his ventures were among the South-Sea Islands, and thence came to him splendid crustaceans, mollusks, star-fishes, sea-eggs, holothuria, corals, sponges, sea-fans, and the like. The collection as received increased so overwhelmingly in quantity and variety (for this systematic and princely research had developed a marvelous wealth of new forms), that Herr Godeffroy determined to make it available to science in the fullest manner possible. So he gave up one of his warehouses, fitted it up from cellar to garret for the storage and handling of this material, and engaged curators to assort and put in shape for permanent preserva-