The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Riley, Charles Valentine

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RILEY, rī'lĭ, Charles Valentine, American entomologist: b. London, England, 18 Sept. 1843; d. Washington, D. C., 14 Sept. 1895. He was educated at Dieppe and at Bonn, and in 1860 came to the United States where he spent three years in studying practical agriculture. He then engaged in newspaper work and in 1864 went to the front in the Union army. In 1868 he was appointed State entomologist of Missouri and in that year assisted in founding the American Entomologist. He was president of the Academy of Science at Saint Louis in 1876-77, chief of the United States entomological expedition to investigate the locust plague in 1877, and in 1878 became United States entomologist in the Department of Agriculture, an office which he occupied until 1894 with the exception of 1879-80 when conducting the cotton-worm investigation. In 1884 he was appointed curator of the National Museum and also became general secretary of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He invented the “cyclone” or eddy chamber in nozzles for spraying purposes and made numerous discoveries of methods to control insect pests. His publications include ‘Annual Reports on the Insects of Missouri’ (9 vols., 1868-77); ‘Annual Reports as Entomologist of the Department of Agriculture’; ‘Potato Pests’ (1876); ‘Locust Plague in the United States’ (1877); ‘The San Jose Scale’ (1895), etc.