Last year we listened with absorbing interest to Dr. Ruedemann’s outline of the history of the New York Geological Survey during the past century. There seemed a marked directness, a unity, a dictatorial efficiency in that State’s survey wholly unmatched by any similar organization in this country. Our Cenozoic paleontology presents an entirely different mode of progress, more rambling, less efficient, and more democratic. Yet perhaps I can show that considerable progress has been made, and, let me add, we are still going strong.
We have often wondered by what home-returning sailor, specimens of Ecphora quadricostata, Pecten jeffersonius, and Venus tridacnoides were brought from our colonial shores and placed in the hands of Susanna and Anna Lister, that they might be faithfully drawn and published in that great book of curios, Lister’s Historiae Conchyliorum (1685–1693). Naturally, they had not then been so named; in fact, the binomial system . . .