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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

The Harvard Botanical Museum.

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Visitors to the Ware collection of Blaschka glass models of flowers have noticed that new cases have recently been constructed in the large entry. These new exhibition cases are for the reception of specimens illustrating the vegetable products useful to man. Thus space will be afforded for the illustrations which are designed to exhibit all of the relations of plants to each other and to their surroundings. Probably it will require at least two years more for the installation of the specimens which show the effect of differences in soil and exposure upon the forms of plants.

In general, the plan is as follows: (A) In the long exhibition room will be displayed the specimens which illustrate the relations of plants of air, water, and soil; to heat, light, electricity, chemism, and gravitation. In this room will also come the illustrations of plants to the lower animals, a scheme which would be impossible of accomplishment without the cooperation of the director of the Museum of Comparative Zoology. Mr. Agassiz has expressed his willingness to transfer to this room all necessary specimens, and this assistance secures success.

(B) In the large room the Ware collection of Blaschka glass models will be considerably increased, and the models themselves re-arranged to bring out as clearly as may be the affinities of the different groups. The balcony will soon have cases for the reception of the specimens expected in March and the whole series will be supplemented by the very interesting collection of flowerless plants placed in the Museum by Professors Farlow and Thaxter. Professor Goodale states that the Blaschkas, father and son, now send annually one hundred complete models with all analytical details. At this rate of activity of production, there will be in place, before the end of the next two years, an adequate representation of all important North American genera. The contract, however, with these artists has more than five years to run.

(C) The new cases in the entry have a capacity sufficiently great for the installation of enough economic material to present all the more important relations of plants to man. Among the more valuable of the collections to be used for this purpose is the immense mass of specimens obtained through the great kindness of Professor Wilson of University of Pennsylvania, who has lately assumed charge of the Technical and Educational Museums of Philadelphia. As it will take some years to put all the illustrations in their proper places, it is Professor Goodale's plan to keep the Museum open all the time, making the necessary changes and introductions with as little inconvenience to visitors as possible.

All the rooms in the Botanical Museum which are designated Private Laboratories are now used for the reception and study of the specimens in Economic Botany and are accessible to students and others who are specially interested in the subject.

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