Skip to main content

Frick, Childs, 1883-1965



  • Existence: March 12, 1883 - May 8, 1965


Childs Frick was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of the coke and steel magnate Henry Clay Frick (1849–1919) and Adelaide Howard Childs.

Frick graduated from Princeton in 1905. He had a life-long interest in natural science, especially the evolution of mammals. In the years after graduating from Princeton he focused on collecting specimens of living fauna for Carnegie Museum, the Field Museum, and the National Museum of Natural History. Since he was interested in evolution of the present mammal forms, his activities shifted to paleontology.

The American Museum of Natural History Department of Vertebrate Paleontology began a long association with Childs Frick in 1916 and in 1920 Frick was elected Trustee of the Museum. Frick was subsequently elected an Honorary Trustee in 1955.

Using his personal fortune to employ a small army of collectors and researchers including Morris Skinner, Theodore Galusha and Beryl Taylor, he established the Frick Laboratory that was based at the Museum. Over the decades Frick and his employees accumulated a collection of over 200,000 fossil mammals, which formed the basis of a series of monographic studies on mammal evolution. The collection was donated to the Museum after Frick's death in 1965. The financial assets of the Childs Frick Corporation, which were donated to the Museum along with Frick's fossil collections in 1968, assisted in the construction of a new, 10-story collection and office building, which opened in 1973.

Childs Frick was a generous supporter of many natural science projects both within and outside of the American Museum of Natural History. This fact is not greatly known since Frick instisted on keeping a low profile.

AMNH website
Theodore Galusha, "Childs Frick and the Frick Collection of Fossil Mammals", The Curator, Volume 18, number 1, 1975



Found in 12 Collections and/or Records:

Series 1: Correspondence , 1892-1947

Scope and Contents

Series 1 (Boxes 1 to 6) contain Osborn’s correspondence, both general and relating to specific publications including “Age of Mammals” 2nd edition, “Ape Man,” and “Men of the Old Stone Age.” This series also contains accession information for the entire Henry Fairfield Osborn Papers collection. Most materials are in English, but there is also some correspondence in German. It is arranged alphabetically and thematically, then chronologically.

Dates: 1892-1947

Series 2: Professional Correspondence, 1896 - 1942

Scope and Contents

The professional correspondence includes letters between Brown and other paleontologists both within AMNH and elsewhere. It also contains correspondence regarding Brown's lecture tours and his application for copyright. There are also some letters from the public with paleontological enquiries.

Dates: 1896 - 1942