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Albert S. Bickmore


Centurion, 1892–1914

Full Name Albert Smith Bickmore

Born 1 March 1839 in Saint George, Maine

Died 12 August 1914 in Nonquitt, Massachusetts

Buried Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York

Proposed by Joseph H. Choate and Seth Low

Elected 6 February 1892 at age fifty-two

Seconder of:

Century Memorial

In his seventy-sixth year, Albert Smith Bickmore closed a happy life of constant devotion to the pursuit and spread of the knowledge of Natural History. Graduating at Dartmouth in 1860, he next spent four years of study under Louis Agassiz at Harvard, years which were broken only by a nine months’ service in the Civil War. A trip to Bermuda to collect shells was the first of his many scientific voyages, made for purposes of collection, study, and exploration, and of a surety in the love of strange knowledge from strange lands. He travelled in the East Indian Archipelago, in Japan, China, Siberia, and discovered in the Ainus of Yezo the remains of an aboriginal Japanese race. The hope of a great institution in New York City for the promotion of knowledge companioned him in the remotest corners of the earth; and in 1869 he realized this hope in the procurement from the State of New York of the charter of the American Museum of Natural History. Its buildings were in part designed from plans made by Bickmore in his travels, and he was its Superintendent from 1869 to 1884. He also brought the Museum into close touch with the public schools, and delivered personally hundreds of lectures to public school teachers. To gather data and enhance the interest of these lectures, he made long and repeated voyages, at his own expense. The importance and success of this work, primarily of Bickmore’s, for the spread of natural knowledge have been, as we all know, enormous. In all of which he was aided by his wife Charlotte A. Bruce, of this city, whom he married in 1873.

Henry Osborn Taylor
1915 Century Association Yearbook