King Of The Condor Collectors

[The following was originally published as a chapter in: "Nine Feet from Tip to Tip: the California Condor through History." (Gresham, Oregon: Symbios Books, 2012). If you would like a free copy (PDF) of the entire book,send me an e-mail.]

Even if you're read almost every book, magazine article, or newspaper item ever written about the California condor, you may not remember seeing the name of E. B. Towne. If you've looked for condor information in museums, the story will be different. In museum records of condors, his name seems to be everywhere. With at least 21 condor skins and one condor egg to his credit - most of them in his possession simultaneously - he ranks at the top among possessors of condor specimens. Even today, after many private collections have been consolidated in the larger museums, only three institutions can claim a larger total collection of California condor skins, mounts, skeletons and eggs than E. B. Towne had: Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and the U. S. National Museum.

EBTowne Boys & birds

Edward Bancroft Towne, son of Ebenezer Bancroft Towne and Chloe Adaline (Braman) Gilmore, was born in Raynham, Bristol County, Massachusetts, 20 July 1857 [1]. He often identified himself as E. B. Towne Jr., even though he was not technically a "junior." According to one source, this was a family convenience to separate him from a local cousin who was also E. B. Towne [2].

Towne spent his youth in Raynham, and presumably attended schools there. I found no indication that he had any higher education. By 1877 he was living in Nashua, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, employed as a clerk at the Nashua Bedding Company, operated by his uncle Cleon D. Towne [3]. He married in Nashua 4 October 1882 Emma Grace Stark, daughter of George Stark and Mary Grace Bowers [4], and they moved soon after to West Newton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. While living at West Newton, Towne worked as a furrier in the Boston establishment of Lamson and Hubbard [5].

I have found nothing in the literature or in family records that describes how E. B. Towne became interested in birds. My speculation is that he was introduced to bird study by ornithologist William Brewster, who between 1870 and 1874 was studying terns on Muskeget Island (Nantucket County, Massachusetts) [6]. Towne's first bird collecting appears to have been in June and July 1874, when at the age of 16 he visited Muskeget and brought back six specimens [7]. It is possible (likely?) that Brewster recruited the local teen to help him with his work. Supporting this speculation is that also on the island with Brewster was Jesse Warren, from West Newton (Middlesex County), Massachusetts and just eight months older than Edward Towne. Towne and Warren became good friends, and from September 1874 into June 1875 all Towne's known bird collecting was in western Middlesex County, a region he is not known to have frequented previously [8]. In May 1875, he found at Weston what may have been the last known passenger pigeon nest in the county [9]. That same month, at Newton, he collected the nest and eggs of a golden-winged warbler, one of three found that year at Newton, the first ones found in Massachusetts since 1869. Jesse Warren documented this find, including quoting from Towne's field notes [10].

In July and August 1875, Towne was once again on Muskeget with Brewster, Warren, and another birding friend from West Newton, Winchester W. Eager. They collected specimens of what was thought to be a new species of tern, "Sterna Portlandica," later shown to be Arctic terns in immature plumage [11]. Towne collected a few birds around Bristol County in summer and fall 1875, and in February 1876 he, Warren, and Eager were all elected to membership in the Nuttall Ornithological Club of Cambridge, Massachusetts. William Brewster was then President of the Club [12].

Between October 1875 and July 1892, I find no records of Towne collecting any birds, although in 1877 he won a number of prizes for his fancy domestic pigeons and American Plymouth Rock chickens [13]. During those 15 years he had gone to work in New Hampshire, got married, moved back to Massachusetts, started a career in Boston, and conceived four children. Even if he had the inclination to hunt birds, his time was undoubtedly limited. His lack of ornithological activity may also have been tied to the departure from the area of his two birding friends, Jesse Warren to New York State in 1877 and Winchester Eager to Minnesota in 1880 [14].

Something rekindled Towne's interest in birds, and in 1892 and 1893 he collected in a desultory way around Middlesex County. All the specimens I know of from that period were hawks and owls. This may be the period in which he became excited about California condors, and it may be that condors were the reason that, at some time in 1894, he moved with his family to San Diego, California. In March 1897, he wrote to William Brewster from Santa Cruz, California [15]:

"As it is probable we shall go East in the Fall, I dislike to leave the state without killing a Cal. Vulture, and although I have been hunting for this bird for more than two years all the way from the northern part of Mexico, having spent a year in San Diego Co., and been on several extended camping trips where we have killed deer and other animals to bait them, having been assured before outfitting that we would surely get Vultures, I have yet to see a living bird."

The Townes were in California from 1894 until late 1897 or early 1898. As noted in the above letter to Brewster, they were in the San Diego area for a year, then moved north to Santa Cruz. Towne made at least one (and probably a second) trip to Massachusetts in 1895, to pursue a lawsuit against the city of Newton, Massachusetts, for building a highway across his West Newton property [16]. Towne apparently did not have paid employment during the time they lived in California. The three boys attended school, but otherwise it appears Edward and his sons spent most of their California time collecting birds. The oldest son, E. B. Towne Jr., wrote to William Brewster that in three years "my Father, two brothers and myself collected several thousand birds in California." In the same letter, he wrote: "My Father went from Santa Barbara over the Coast range by way of San Marcos toll road into the Santa Ynez valley hunting a Calif. Condor that had been seen by a prospector a few days previous” [17]. (This probably occurred in summer 1895.) Towne Sr. had written to Brewster earlier [18]: "My boys and I have rowed hundreds of miles I should think during the last few months to get within gun shot of these birds [shearwaters]." While living in San Diego, he had made a trip to the Coronados Islands off northern Baja California, Mexico [19]. Once the family moved to Santa Cruz, it appears that most of his collecting was done in the Monterey Bay area. He provided William Brewster with about 20 specimens (mostly seabirds), for which he received in trade about 35 bird skins from Arizona, Texas and northern Mexico [20]. Otherwise, I can find no record of him selling or trading any of the Towne family acquisitions.

The family returned to Massachusetts, but not before Edward finally saw and killed a California condor, in San Luis Obispo County 6 June 1897. How and when he acquired his other 20 birds is a curious mystery. In his letter to Brewster in March 1897 [15], describing his failure to collect a condor, Towne noted that he had met "a prospector who has had many years experience and acquaintance in the sheep and cattle raising counties of [the] state who tells me he knows where there are still a few birds over toward Death Valley in San Bernardino Co. and assures me he will get a pair or more skins for me if I will grub stake him for sixty days and furnish pack animals." Towne planned to make this last attempt, but "as they are so big and bulky I wish to keep but one skin." This could mean that he didn't want to carry more than one condor back to Massachusetts with him, but he went on: "As you have the only specimens I have seen in a private collection I write to ask you your opinion of their value, which I know nothing of except that while collecting with A. W. Anthony two years ago he told me of the British Museum having purchased a skin at a large price." It is difficult for me to read this passage without concluding that, as of March 1897, E. B. Towne did not have any California condors in his own collection. Yet, a photograph taken at Towne's home in West Newton, Massachusetts, before October 1900 shows Towne and two of his sons posing with 14 condor skins [21]. At least 18 of the 21 condor specimens owned by Towne have collection dates earlier than March 1897; had any of them come into his possession prior to that date, he certainly would have known something about the purchase price and value of a condor skin!

Numbered Condors Backside -2

By 1902, Towne had 20 condors. Could he have acquired all of those in just a five year period? It's possible; I know of about 15 condors that were undoubtedly collected during the time period of Towne's specimens (1875-1900), which don't have specific information on where and when they were killed. There were undoubtedly others. But how did Towne locate them? The logical way would have been to inquire at the various biological supply houses, and in fact three were advertising California condors for sale between 1897 and 1901: Charles K. Worthen (Warsaw, Illinois) [22], Walter F. Webb (Albion, New York) [23], and James P. Babbitt (Taunton, Massachusetts) [24]. In 1903, Towne did purchase from Worthen what was probably his final condor skin [25]. I haven't found any advertisements placed by Towne or any correspondence between Towne and biological supply dealers that would positively link them in any other transactions [26]. However, an 1892 letter sent from Charles Worthen to specimen collector Manly Hardy seems like a clue: "I am told that 'a party' is buying or offering to buy every one (condor) that is taken, at a heavy cash price, & will hold all at $100.00 each!! I do not doubt that he will get it if he can afford the loss of use of money for a few years" [27]. If this refers to Towne - and there is no one else that fits those facts - he must have been seeking specimens for five years before he finally acquired one

Despite the mystery of the origins of Towne's condors, their history beginning in 1900 is well documented, and all but one are identifiable in collections today. On 1 January 1900, Towne wrote to William Brewster: "Expect to take my family back to California to remain permanently, and my collection of skins is so bulky that I am going to dispose of a lot of stuff principally Cal. bird skins” [28]. In a letter to the Smithsonian Institution in September 1900, he elaborated on his personal situation and his plans for part of his bird collection: "As it is necessary for me to take my family back to California on account of ill health, I wish to loan a series of Calif. Condor skins to some institution where they will be safe. These are good skins, and some of the specimens exceptionally large, as I have devoted much time to this species for many years” [29]. The Smithsonian agreed to accept the loan, and on 13 October 1900, Towne wrote: "I ship you today by freight, a case containing eleven Condor skins, an egg and two sternums of exceptionally large birds” [30].

Robert Ridgway, Curator of Birds at the Smithsonian, acknowledged receipt of the condors 15 November 1900, and asked permission to publish measurements of the birds to compare with measurements he had of Andean condor specimens. He also asked if Towne was interested in selling any or all of the skins, and wondered if Towne had a skin that could be mounted for display at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, in May 1901 [31]. Towne gave Ridgway permission to publish measurements of his specimens, but declined to sell any of the eleven [32]. He did offer to send Ridgway another skin that could be mounted for the Exposition, an offer that Ridgway accepted [33]. When the skin arrived, it was found not to be as good as one the Smithsonian already had on hand, and it was put in storage with Towne's other specimens [34].

Edward Towne and his family moved to California in 1901, and settled in Palo Alto, Santa Clara County. I find no record of him disposing of any specimens before he left Massachusetts (as he had told Brewster was his intention), so he probably took over 1,000 bird skins with him. Additionally, he wrote to Outram Bangs in 1904, "I have a large collection of sea bird skins stored in my stable at West Newton” [35]. I haven't located those specimens in any existing collections; they may never have been salvaged.

Among the specimens moved from Massachusetts to California were at least three California condor skins. Five more either moved with him, or were acquired in California after he arrived there. In mid-September 1902, Towne asked the Smithsonian to send six of the condors they were holding for him to the museum at Stanford University (Stanford, California). The skins, plus some condor bones and two drawings Towne had made of condors, were shipped to Stanford in November 1902 [36]. Four months later, Towne asked the Smithsonian to dispose of the rest of his condors, as follows [37]: "(I) ask you to ship the remaining six skins and egg as per directions below, and wish to say that I am quite willing to pay you for the trouble of shipping. I have ordered sent to you from C. K. Worthen, one Condor skin by express, prepaid. I also send by express, prepaid, a bundle containing four flat Condor skins. When they arrive you will have six made up skins, five flat skins and an egg, which I would like to have you ship as follows - six made up skins to Walter Rothschild, Tring, England, by freight. Five flat skins to Mr. Cullingford, The Museum, Durham, England, by freight, and the egg to Dr. Ernst Hartert, Zoological Museum, Tring Herts, England, by express."

These actions were carried out by the Smithsonian. Probably about the same time as the above transaction, Towne traded one condor to Joseph and John W. Mailliard (San Francisco, California) [38]. That left him with the six condor skins, bones, and drawings on loan to Stanford University, and two skins and a mounted bird retained in his personal collection.

Edward Towne had kept his membership in the Nuttall Ornithological Club until near the time he moved from Massachusetts [39], and in September 1901 he and his son George Towne were elected to membership in the Cooper Ornithological Society [40]. However, and probably due to his worsening medical condition, Edward resigned from the Society just six months later, in March 1902 [41]. He died in Palo Alto 5 February 1905, of a long-term cancer of the skull [42].

In 1907 or early 1908, Towne's widow Emma donated his "collection of 1260 bird skins" to the Stanford University Museum [43]. This gift did not include the condor specimens, although there may have been some confusion about that. When Emma Towne offered four of the Stanford condors to the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology in 1912, Joseph Grinnell wrote to John Mailliard [44] that "there may be a little explaining to do; for I happen to know that the Stanford people believed they owned the Towne series years ago!" At some point, the three condors left in the Towne personal collection were loaned to John Mailliard. In 1911, Joseph Grinnell learned of these specimens and offered to buy one of them for $25.00 for the "State Museum" (Museum of Vertebrate Zoology). Instead, in May 1912, Mailliard arranged to transfer all three specimens to Berkeley on a loan basis [45].

As noted above, in November 1912, Emma Towne offered four of the Stanford condors to the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. She wrote to Joseph Grinnell [46]: "There are six such skins at the Department of Zoology Stanford University. This may be taken as authorization to secure four of these. The remaining two are to remain at Stanford and I would like to have you and Dr. C. H. Gilbert decide the disposition of the individual specimens." At the same time, she gave the Museum one of the condor skins loaned earlier that year, and instructed Grinnell to give the other two loaned specimens to John Mailliard. Despite Grinnell's concerns that there might be some problems with Stanford, that transfer was made without controversy. At Mailliard's request, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology retained custody of his two condors until August 1916, when he asked that they be sent to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. That transfer was completed 16 August 1916 [47]. The final two condors from Stanford University arrived at the California Academy of Sciences, along with some of Towne's other bird specimens, when Stanford closed down their natural history museum in May 1964.

Meanwhile, in England, all eleven of the condor skins sent to Joseph Cullingford and Walter Rothschild in 1903 became part of the Rothschild collection [48]. One was sold to W. F. H. Rosenberg, a London dealer in natural history specimens, and was subsequently purchased in 1908 by the Swedish Museum of Natural History (Stockholm) [49]. Three were acquired by the Natural History Museum-Tring (then, British Museum of Natural History), one in 1915 and two in 1939 [50]. Six came to the American Museum of Natural History (New York, New York) when the Rothschild Collection was sold to them in 1932 [51]. The eleventh specimen is not currently identifiable in any collection.

* * *

Despite the good information Edward B. Towne preserved concerning the California condor specimens he acquired, his actual involvement with condors remains mysterious. In a 13 September 1900 letter to the Smithsonian Institution [28], Towne wrote: "I have devoted much time to this species for many years." But what does that mean? His 1897 letter to William Brewster suggests to me that the family move to California in 1894 may have come about at least in part because he wanted to collect a condor. If not the actual reason, then perhaps being in "condor country" provided the impetus for his apparent later fascination with condors. I have found nothing he wrote prior to 1897 that mentioned condors, and at that time it appears he had neither seen nor collected one. In 1900, he gave permission to Robert Ridgway to publish measurements of his condor specimens, but never published anything, himself. We know from his youthful collecting in Massachusetts that he sometimes kept field notes, but apparently none have survived, and we don't know if any mentioned condors. Except for the condor specimens themselves and the collection data accompanying them, all we have to show Edward B. Towne's involvement with California condors are a few letters, a few photographs, and two colored drawings


1. Massachusetts Vital Records, Volume 105 (1857), page 180.

2. Pages 721-722 in: Hurd, D. H. 1883. History of Bristol County, Massachusetts, with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: J. W. Lewis and Co.

3. Page 122 in: Greenough's directory of... the city of Nashua for 1879-80. Boston, Massachusetts: Greenough & Co.

4. Anonymous. 1882. Wedding announcement, Towne-Stark. Daily Telegraph (Nashua, New Hampshire), 5 October 1882.

5. Edward B. Towne's father, Ebenezer Towne, was a Boston merchant whose business (for many years, under several partnerships) was selling hats, caps, buffalo robes, furs, and straw goods. Ill health forced Ebenezer to retire by 1870, but Edward's familiarity with his father's business undoubtedly influenced his choice of career as furrier when Lamson and Hubbard was incorporated in Boston in 1882.

6. Brewster, W. 1879. The terns of the New England coast. Bulletin of the Nuttall Ornithological Club 4(1): 13-22.

7. These specimens - four laughing gulls, one Bonaparte's gull, and one short-eared owl - are now in the collection of the California Academy of Sciences (San Francisco). The Academy has three other specimens from this early period that were acquired with the Towne Collection and that list Towne as the collector: goshawk (Montreal, Quebec, November 1873), razor-billed auk (Grand Manan, New Brunswick, June 1874), and sharp-tailed sparrow (probably Maine, July 1874). Towne, like some other early acquirers of bird specimens, sometimes listed himself as the original procurer, when actually he received the bird from someone else. He may have collected these, but times and places make them questionable, I think.

8. In the Towne Collection now at the California Academy of Sciences there are ten bird specimens, all from the Newton, Massachusetts area.

9. Page 178 in: Brewster, W. 1906. The birds of the Cambridge region of Massachusetts. Memoirs of the Nuttall Ornithological Club, Number 4. Cambridge, Massachusetts.

10. Warren, J. 1876. Nesting of the golden-winged warbler (Helminthophaga chrysoptera) in Massachusetts. Quarterly Bulletin of the Nuttall Ornithological Club1(1):6-8.

11. Brewster, W. 1876. Some additional light on the so-called "Sterna Portlandica," Ridgway. Annals of the Lyceumof Natural Historyof New York 11:201-207.

12. Anonymous. 1899. A list of the officers and members present and past of the Nuttall Ornithological Club of Cambridge. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Nuttall Ornithological Club.

Anonymous. 1877. Fifth annual exhibition of the Massachusetts Poultry Association. The Pet-stock, Pigeon and PoultryBulletin 7(11):218-221.

13. Anonymous. 1877. The poultry exhibition--some of the premiums awarded. Daily Citizen (Lowell, Massachusetts), 19 December 1877.

14. Anonymous 1899, op. cit.

15. Letter from E. B. Towne (East Santa Cruz, California) to William Brewster (Cambridge, Massachusetts), 11 March 1897. William Brewster Collection, Museum of Comparative Zoology archives, Ernst Mayr Library, Harvard University.

16. Anonymous. 1894. Newton Boulevard. A long hearing given yesterday. Daily Advertiser (Boston, Massachusetts), 20 March 1894.

Anonymous. 1896. Newton Boulevard. Court called to decide on a land assessment and betterment by Edward Towne, who says he did not sign any agreement. The Journal (Boston, Massachusetts), 18 January 1896.

17. Letter from E. Bancroft Towne (West Newton, Massachusetts) to William Brewster (Cambridge, Massachusetts), 30 March 1900. William Brewster Collection, Museum of Comparative Zoology archives, Ernst Mayr Library, Harvard University.

18. Letter from E. B. Towne (North Raynham, Massachusetts) to William Brewster (Cambridge, Massachusetts), 24 December 1895. William Brewster Collection, Museum of Comparative Zoology archives, Ernst Mayr Library, Harvard University.

19. Birds collected on the Coronados Islands in May 1895 are now at the California Academy of Sciences (San Francisco).

20. Letter from William Brewster (Cambridge, Massachusetts) to E. B. Towne (Santa Cruz, California, 21 January 1896, listing names and prices of bird skins traded. William Brewster Collection, Museum of Comparative Zoology archives, Ernst Mayr Library, Harvard University.

21. The photograph was sent to the Smithsonian Institution enclosed with a letter of either 13 September 1900 or 2 October 1900. Smithsonian Institution Archives (Washington, D. C.), Accession 37278.

22. Anonymous. 1897a. Note and comment. Osprey 1(9):123; Anonymous. 1897b. Note and comment. Osprey 1(11-12):149.

23. Webb, W. F. 1898. Advertisement. The Museum 4(12):178.

24. Babbitt, J. P. 1901. Advertisement: California condor skin for sale. American Ornithology 1(9):157.

25. Letter of 9 March 1903 from E. B. Towne (Palo Alto, California) to C. W. Richmond (Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.). Natural History Museum Archives (London, United Kingdom), Reference TM1/70. Thanks to Robert Prys-Jones and Alison Harding (Natural History Museum, Tring, U. K.) for finding this correspondence.

26. Richard Peek, Director of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Rush Rhees Library (University of Rochester, Rochester, New York) kindly searched the voluminous files of the Henry A. Ward and Wards Natural Science Establishment archives for me, but could find no references to E. B. Towne

27. Letter of 16 February 1892, Charles K. Worthen (Warsaw, Illinois) to Manly Hardy (Brewer, Maine). Original is in the Ralph S. Palmer Collection, Raymond H. Folger Library, University of Maine (Orono, Maine).

28. Letter from E. B. Towne (West Newton, Massachusetts) to William Brewster (Cambridge, Massachusetts), 1 January 1900. William Brewster Collection, Museum of Comparative Zoology archives, Ernst Mayr Library, Harvard University.

29. Letter from E. B. Towne (West Newton, Massachusetts) to the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D. C.), 13 September 1900. Smithsonian Institution Archives,U. S. National Museum accession file 37278.

30. Letter from E. B. Towne (West Newton, Massachusetts) to R. Rathbun, Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D. C.), 13 October 1900. Smithsonian Institution Archives, U. S. National Museum accession file 37278.

31. Letter from R. Ridgway (Curator of Birds, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.), 15 November 1900, to E. B. Towne (West Newton, Massachusetts). Smithsonian Institution archives, RU 105, Box 6, Folder 4 (Volume XXI, pp. 317-318).

32. I haven't found Towne's letter to Ridgway, but Ridgway acknowledged its contents in a return letter of 3 December 1900. Smithsonian Institution archives, RU 105, Box 6, Folder 4 (Volume XXI, pp. 334-335).Towne apparently said that he didn't wish to sell any of his eleven condors but, if he did, he would want $25 apiece. Ridgway replied that, had Towne wanted to sell, the Smithsonian would not have purchased at that price, as they had recently acquired five good skins at $10 apiece.

33. By letter of 26 December 1900 Ridgway acknowledged and accepted Towne's offer of an additional condor skin to be mounted for the Buffalo Exposition: Smithsonian Institution archives, RU 105, Box 6, Folder 4 (Volume XXI, p. 343). I have not found Towne's actual offer but, from later correspondence, he apparently proposed to send the Smithsonian an adult condor for mounting, if the mount was returned to him after the Exposition.

34. Letter from R. Ridgway (Curator of Birds, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.), 21 January 1901, to E. B. Towne (West Newton, Massachusetts). Smithsonian Institution archives, RU 105, Box 6, Folder 4 (Volume XXI, pp. 363-364).

35. Letter from E. B. Towne (Palo Alto, California) to Outram Bangs (Cambridge, Massachusetts), 7 June 1904. Correspondence archives, Museum of Comparative Zoology archives, Ernst Mayr Library, Harvard University.

36. I haven't found Towne's September 1902 letter, but it was acknowledged as written "yesterday" (19 September) from New York City in the 18 September 1902 response from Charles W. Richmond [Smithsonian Institution archives, RU 105, Box 7, Folder 3 (Volume XXXIII, p. 151)]. The specimens were sent to Stanford University 18 November 1902, as noted in the Smithsonian files for Accession 37278.

37. Letter of 9 March 1903 from E. B. Towne (Palo Alto, California) to C. W. Richmond (Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.). Natural History Museum Archives (London, United Kingdom), Reference TM1/70. It would be fascinating to know how Towne made the arrangements to send (and presumably, sell) his condors to England, but so far no paperwork has been located.

38. I haven't discovered any correspondence concerning this trade, but the condor appears on an undated Mailliard specimen exchange list. Joseph and John W. Mailliard Collections, Box 24, ledger. California Academy of Sciences Archives (San Francisco, California).

39. Anonymous. 1899. A list of the officers and members present and past of the Nuttall Ornithological Club of Cambridge. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Nuttall Ornithological Club

40. Barlow, C. 1901. Official minutes of Northern Division. Condor 3(5):136.

41. Anonymous. 1902. Official minutes, Northern Division. Condor4(2):52.

42. Cause of E. B. Towne's death was provided to me by a descendant, Mark Decius, who had a copy of the official death certificate. A brief death notice appeared in the Palo Alto (California) Times,9 February 1905.

43. Anonymous. 1908. Fifth annual report of the President of the University for the year ending 31 July 1908. Stanford, California: Stanford University.

44. Letter of 18 November 1912 from Joseph Grinnell (Museum of Vertebrate Zoology) to John W. Mailliard (San Francisco, California). Letter Archives, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley.

45. I haven't found all the correspondence relating to this transfer, but the main features can be gleaned from a series of letters in the Archives at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology: Joseph Grinnell to John W. Mailliard 29 November 1911; Grinnell to Mailliard 29 January 1912; Mailliard to Grinnell 10 April 1912; Mailliard to Grinnell 18 April 1912; and Grinnell to Mailliard 11 May 1912.

46. Letters (2) of 14 November 1912 from Emma G. Towne (Palo Alto, California) to Joseph Grinnell (Museum of Vertebrate Zoology). Letter Archives, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley.

47. The transfer of the Stanford condors and those loaned by Mrs. Towne in May 1912 are covered in letters in the archives of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology: Joseph Grinnell to John Mailliard 18 November 1912; Grinnell to Emma Towne 7 December 1912; Grinnell to Mailliard 7 December 1912; Mailliard to Grinnell 18 December 1912; Mailliard to Grinnell 3 August 1916; Grinnell to Mailliard 4 August 1916; and receipt from John Carlson (California Academy of Sciences) to Grinnell 16 August 1916.

48. Probably it had always been intended that all eleven condors were to go to Rothschild, the prepared skins direct to Rothschild and the "flat skins" to Cullingford for final preparation. Joseph Cullingford, a highly respected taxidermist, retired from the Durham University Library in 1905.

49. Information on the condor purchased by the Swedish Museum of Natural History was furnished to me by Goran Frisk of the Museum.

50. Pages 51-53 in: Knox, A. G., and M. P. Walters. 1994. Extinct and endangered birds in the collections of the Natural History Museum. London, United Kingdom: The British Ornithologists' Club.

51. A good summary of the Rothschild transfer is: Anonymous. 1935. The Rothschild Collection of birds at the American Museum of Natural History. Science, New Series, 81(2097):247-24.


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