Oddity of the Week: Scientists of the Past

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Time for some entomological exploring.

Scientists of the Past: Joseph Banks Gets a Cartoon

Joseph Banks undergoing metamorphosis in a 1795 cartoon.

What is this? A celebration of science.

Do you remember Captain Cook? (No, not Captain Bligh.) When Cook explored the South Seas, he too Sir Joseph Banks of the Royal Geographical Society along with him. Banks collected a lot of specimens, and was feted for his discoveries. He also ended up in cartoons.

The Library of Congress explains the cartoon this way:

Cartoon shows the metamorphosis of Sir Joseph Banks from a caterpillar to a butterfly upon his investiture with the Order of the Bath as a result of his South Sea expedition. Draped with the ribbon, and wearing the jewel, of Bath, he rises, chrysalis shaped, from the mudflats on butterfly wings emblazoned with sea creatures towards a radiant sun enclosing a crown.

Not bad, eh?

We hope they appreciated the butterflies in Bath. And it's nice to know that scientists earned appreciation, even in 1795.

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Dmitri Gheorgheni

10.06.13 Front Page

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