Roy Chapman Andrews was an explorer, paleontologist, and a well-known figure at the American Museum of Natural History. Born in Beloit, Wisconsin on January 26, 1884 to Cora Chapman and Charles Ezra Andrews, he enjoyed hunting and the study of nature. He taught himself taxidermy and, being the only taxidermist in the Beloit area, provided preparation and mounting services for local hunters. (1) After graduating from Beloit College in 1906 with a B.A., Andrews sought a career at AMNH, but there were no positions available. He volunteered to work at the museum as a janitor and assistant to James L. Clark and was hired July 16, 1906. His taxidermy skills were quickly recognized and by 1908 he was able to convince the AMNH director, H.C. Bumpus to allow him to collect specimens in the field. (2)
The American Museum of Natural History’s Second Asiatic Zoological
Expedition (1918-1919) was led by Roy Chapman Andrews. It can be considered as a
continuation of the preparatory work for the Central Asiatic Expeditions of
1921-1930. The main goal of the Second Expedition was to explore and collect
mammal and bird specimens from the northeastern region of the Asian plateau,
namely the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. The specimens were to be used in the
Museum’s proposed hall of Asiatic life. Further, Andrews saw the expedition as
another step in his larger expeditionary plan.
Frederick B. Butler, (born October 5, 1886, California--died June 20,
1987, California), cartographer and Army engineer, who was appointed assistant
topographer for the 1925 field season of the Third Asiatic Expedition. After
graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1918, Butler had a
long career in the Army until his retirement ca. 1954.
The Central Asiatic Expeditions took place between 1921 and 1930, and were
led by Roy Chapman Andrews. Walter Granger was chief paleontologist and the
second in command. With a team of up to forty scientists, drivers, and
assistants, they were able to collect a vast multitude of objects for the
American Museum of Natural History and make many groundbreaking discoveries such
as the first dinosaur eggs. They explored throughout the Gobi Desert and
cemented this area as a prime location for paleontological study.
The Morden-Clark Expedition, funded and planned by William James Morden
and assisted by James L. Clark and a team of local guides, ventured into Central
Asia in search of specimens for the Asian Hall of Mammals. The Expeditoin
resulted in specimens of Ovis Poli sheep, Ibex, and Roe Deer, as well as film
and photographs of the journey and the animals in their natural habitats. The
Expedition set out in early 1926 and returned home in February 1927.
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