Earlier this year while processing Riker mounts, I found newspaper clippings that were stuffed behind the cotton, presumably shoved in there to help press specimens up against the glass. At the time, I was super excited to find these clippings, spent time reading through the articles, and even tried translating pieces that weren’t in English. It was like I had discovered a tiny viewing window into the 1970’s world of the collector.
This week, the Frost received a donation that was a complete hodgepodge of specimens. Some were pinned, some weren’t, some had data, some did not. In the mix, there was a Schmitt box full of specimens that had never quite made it to the pinning stage, and sat for decades in newspaper clippings that had been folded into makeshift envelopes. Again, I found myself engrossed in these new found newspaper articles, figuring out what was was going on in the world at the time these different specimens were collected. A time when Bond girls sold you soap bars! Nixon before Watergate! The Apollo 8 mission!
I like to imagine the collector thinking, “Sure, the Apollo 8 mission was alright, but heck, look at this mantid !”, with a vest full of pockets and an aspirator around their neck. These insect and historical newspaper pairings are so much fun. Given that this is the second set I’ve run into in a relatively short time span, I wonder how often this happens in entomology collections and whether other people enjoy it as much as I do. I think it could make for a neat museum exhibit or display someday… imagine a wall full of framed newspaper articles and their associated insect specimens. The only information about where and when the insect came from is whatever can be deciphered from the news clipping!
Here are some other examples from this weeks finding, below: