This is a picture of a person I never met. In fact, she was dead before I was even thought of. Her name is Anna Botsford Comstock. She was born in 1854 and died in 1930.
|Anna Botsford was born in western New York, an only child. She grew up on a farm and developed a love of nature study early in life.
She was admitted to Cornell University (Ithaca, New York- and now much closer to where I grew up) in 1874. She fell in love with her entomology (study of insects) instructor, John Henry Comstock. They married and she dropped out of school. However, she taught herself to do illustrations for his books about insects. She later returned to school and received a degree in Natural History, and was one of the first women inducted into Sigma Xi, a sorority for honor students.
|She went on to study wood engraving, to prepare plates for many more book illustrations. She became the third woman to be admitted to the Society of American Wood-Engravers.
This is one of her engravings.
She wrote, among other books, The Handbook of Nature Study, which is still in print! She was a pioneer in the practice of actually taking students outside to study, rather than bringing specimens into a classroom.
She was the first female professor at Cornell. (Although she was not the first to receive a full professorship. All women were denied that until many years later.)
Stay tuned over the coming days to learn why this woman is important to me. I'll add a post on days when there is nothing current of interest.
In other news: I worked really hard on editing/formatting jobs today.
|See Nora Stanton Blatch|