David Honeyman was the first curator of the Museum and the first Professor of Geology at Dalhousie University (1878-1883). In his publication Giants and Pigmies (1887) and a paper in the Proceedings of the Nova Scotia Institute of Science (1874), Honeyman mentions fossil footprints from Wentworth, NS. In collecting the specimens, Honeyman was “assisted by Andrew Jack” and the Museum collection record for the footprints lists Andrew as a Collector. The Proceedings also lists two other people as field assistants, Mr. Frank West and Mr. Robie Cogswell.
Wondering who these assistants were, we find the 1871 Census shows these fellows lived in Halifax and were 14 years old in 1871. From this, it seems these Assistants were a few of the students in the “Practical Geology” classes that Honeyman organized at the Museum from 1870 – 1873.
Today, having a Dalhousie student returning to examine these fossils 140 years after they were collected as part of an early Practical Geology program run by Honeyman and the Museum — well, that is pretty neat! #NSM150 #Dal200
By Dr. Tim Fedak
Curator of Geology, Nova Scotia Museum and Adjunct Professor, Dalhousie Earth Science.
Links and References
- On the Rocks – The Training of Geologists at Dalhousie. Milligan 1995. http://earthsciences.dal.ca/aboutus/publications/OTR/On_The_Rocks.pdf
- Giants and Pigmies, 1887. David Honeyman.
- Honeyman, D. (1874). Nova Scotian geology. Intercolonial railway. Proceedings and Transactions of the Nova Scotian Institute of Natural Science, 3(4), 345-356.
- Recent blog posts about David Honeyman, Nova Scotia Museum https://museum.novascotia.ca/blog/tag/findinghoneyman
- Arseneau 1994. The origins & early development of the Nova Scotia Museum, 1868-1940. http://www.library2.smu.ca/handle/01/22741#.XEmAIfx7nOQ
- Mak 1996. Patterns of change, sources of influence: an historical study of the Canadian museum and the middle class, 1850-1950. https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0099160