Cushman's interest in forams began with his examination of the Albatross collections. In 1906, when he began his systematic study of the Foraminifera for the U.S. National Museum, they were regarded as little more than scientific curiosities of no geologic value because most were believed to range from Cambrian to Recent. Cushman found the existing ten-family classification insufficiently detailed to encompass the myriad distinctions seen in his material. That classification, based primarily upon shape, did not take into consideration the different kinds of wall composition nor the phylogenies of genera.
In 1912, Cushman began an intermittent lifelong association with the U.S. Geological Survey. Two years later he successfully used forams to determine the ages of beds in a water well in South Carolina. In the early 1920s, Cushman took a consulting job with the Marland Oil Company to work briefly in Mexico. His fee gave him the financial means to retire from commercial work at the age of 43 and to build a private laboratory in Sharon, Massachusetts. There he resumed his research studies, accepted students, and started his journal. In the middle 1920s, a controversy developed between Cushman and J. J. Galloway over publication of their respective classifications. Emotions ran high for some years because Galloway believed that Cushman had stolen ideas from his manuscript, which the two had discussed together.
Figures & Tables
Geologists and Ideas
An unusually coherent, well-written volume. Prepared for DNAG by the History of Geology Division of GSA. Spotlights events, ideas, and people, and sheds light on the history of North American geology as a whole. With its many intellectual jewels on the evolution of scientific concepts, this book will provide many happy hours of entertainment and instruction for anyone interested in the history of science, especially that of the earth sciences. Thirty-four papers are organized into four categories: (1) The Evolution of Significant Ideas; (2) Contributions of Individuals; (3) Contributions of Organized Groups; and (4) Application of Significant Ideas. Excellent as a course-book or for additional reading for classes related to the history of geology or general science.