Charles Doolittle Walcott

Charles Doolittle Walcott

Charles Doolittle Walcott

Birth : March 31, 1850 New York Mills, New York,USA

Death : February 9, 1927 (aged 76) Washington, DC,USA

Personal Information

Name Charles Doolittle Walcott
Birth March 31, 1850 New York Mills, New York,USA
Birth Place New York Mills, New York,USA
Death (aged 76) Washington, DC,USA
Died At Washington, DC,USA
Nationality United States
Fields Paleontology
Institution Smithsonian Institution US Geological Survey)
Famous Research Burgess shale

Word Cloud

Events Occured in Scienctist Life


He is famous for his discovery in 1909 of well-preserved fossils, including some of the oldest soft-part imprints, in the Burgess Shale of British Columbia, Canada.


His grandfather, Benjamin S. Walcott, moved from Rhode Island in 1822.


On January 9, 1872, Walcott married Lura Ann Rust, daughter of the owner of a farm in New York where Walcott made one of his most important trilobite discoveries (Walcott-Rust quarry).


She died on January 23, 1876.


In 1876, he became the assistant to James Hall, State Geologist of New York.


In 1879, Walcott joined the US Geological Survey and rose to become chief paleologist in 1893 and then director in 1894.


He married Helena Breese Stevens in 1888.


Walcott was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1896.


In 1901, he served as president of the Geological Society of America.


In 1902, he met with Andrew Carnegie and became one of the founders and incorporators of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.


In 1921 Walcott was awarded the inaugural Mary Clark Thompson Medal from the National Academy of Sciences.


He served as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1923.


Walcott became Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in 1907 after the death of Samuel Pierpont Langley, holding the latter post until his own death.


As part of the centennial celebration of Darwin's birth, Walcott was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Cambridge in 1909.


In 1910, the year after his discovery of 508 million year old (middle Cambrian) fossils in the Burgess shale, Walcott returned to the area accompanied by his sons Stuart and Sidney.


Between 1910 and 1924, Walcott returned repeatedly to collect more than 65,000 specimens from what is now known as the Walcott Quarry, named after him.


Walcott's wife Helena died in a train crash in Connecticut in 1911.


In 1914, Walcott married his third wife, Mary Morris Vaux, an amateur artist and avid naturalist.


In 1914 Walcott convened a conference in Washington, D.C. for the purpose of stimulating interest in aeronautic science, and its relation to the U.S. government.


After Walcott's death in Washington, DC, his samples, photographs, and notes remained in storage until their rediscovery by a new generation of paleontologists in the late 1960s.


Walcott would be little known today if he had not been brought to attention by Stephen Jay Gould's book Wonderful Life (1989).


Walcott's work on Ordovician trilobites of New York also tended to be overlooked until, in the early 1990s, Rochester-based amateur paleontologist Thomas Whiteley revived Walcott's research and re-opened the Walcott–Rust quarry near Russia, New York.


The fauna of the Lower Cambrian or Olenellus zone, (1890) Extract from the 10th annual report of the director of the U. S. Geological Survey, 1888–89, pt.