Skip to main content

Falkenbach, Charles H.

 Person

Biographical Note

Charles H. Falkenbach (1902-1962), who worked for the American Museum of Natural History for 46 years, was a pioneer in systematic stratigraphic vertebrate paleontology and a prolific contributor to the field. He was equally at home on expedition and in the laboratory. In taxonomic studies, colleagues regarded him as a "splitter" whereas he considered himself a "lumper". He was a specialist in creodonts. Falkenbach was born in N.Y.C. on April 1, 1902 and attended city schools. His father Charles and uncle Otto were skilled preparators in the Museum's VP lab and he apprenticed there with them from 1916 to 1920. The next year he joined the Frick Laboratory as a preparator and in 1924 became supervisor of the lab and a field assistant on expeditions in Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming. He retired as Assistant Curator in the Frick Laboratory and Field and Laboratory Associate at the AMNH in 1962. He died July 8, 1962 at his home in Sante Fe, N.M.

Found in 3 Collections and/or Records:

Charles H. Falkenbach papers

 Collection
Identifier: VPA 119
Scope and Contents Charles H. Falkenbach Administrative Files contain correspondence, AMNH pension fund records, expense accounts, specimen exchanges, field work accounts, manuscript notes, and geological surveys. The collection is arranged by individuals, institutions, and by subject. Box 1 (1927-1961) contains correspondence from A to Christman; Box 2 (1956-1959) contains correspondence from Davies to Frick; Box 3 (1956-1962) contains correspondence from Frick to Schultz; Box 4 (1950-1951)...
Dates: 1916-1962; Majority of material found within 1940-1962

Series 1: Field diaries, 1891-1998

 Series
Identifier: VPA 101
Scope and Contents

Consist of diaries, lists of specimens found, locations of finds, records of day to day activities, and step by step findings. Individual lists can be found with both the Charles H. Falkenbach and Ted Galusha Papers. The diaries are arranged by date and filed as nearly as possible in chronological order. Notable names in the field diaries include H. F. Osborn, Walter Granger, Barnum Brown, and G. G. Simpson.

Dates: 1891-1998

Series 2: Field correspondence, 1891-1969

 Series
Identifier: VPA 101
Scope and Contents

The field correspondence was written by field workers relaying events during excavations and expeditions. The collection includes department field communications from 1891 to 1969. While Henry Fairfield Osborn was in the department, the letters were addressed primarily to him, but later letters were addressed to others. Notable names in the field correspondence include Walter Granger, Barnum Brown, Ted Galusha, Charles Falkenbach, and G. G. Simpson. The years 1962-1968 are missing.

Dates: 1891-1969