Names of our Glyptodon

The results of our ‘name Glyptodon‘ contest are in, and she will be called:

 Shelley the Glyptodon‘.

Here we want to share the many creative and inventive suggestions made, and thank you all for participating, by suggesting names or voting for your favorite, as well as for showing your appreciation for our own Wesleyan Shelley the Glyptodon

We asked to suggest a name for our Glyptodon, as well as explain whether and why she would like that name.

A committee of five looked at the list of proposed names independently, and each person selected five names. The  names mentioned most often by the people in the committee made the short list, on which was voted. 

Ariel: Gender neutral name in Spanish; title of the most famous book ever written by a Uruguayan, José Enrique Rodo.

Amy Dillo!: She will ADORE this name. Because it is her name. I would know, because I too have spent a lot of time in the Exley basement and that’s what she introduced herself to me as.

Beetle!: Yes! Glyptodons were about the same size and weight as a Volkswagen Beetle so it is a nice reminder of how cool she is. Also, it’s adorable to call big creatures with small names. Beetles are so small and she is so big (#no_body_shame).

Big Bertha: She’s the size of a car! She ought to be honoured for her size.

Big Turtle Thing: I think it doesn’t matter to her because she has not been sentient for many years.

Boaty McBoatface: She’ll appreciate the nod towards a previous naming competition (for a research vessel). She’ll appreciate the publicity that descends upon her institution for such a quirky, creative name.

Cardina/Cardinah: Yes! Of course, it’s perfect.

  1. Wesleyan connection: it sounds very close to Cardinal, our beloved
  2. Cardo means hinge in Latin. Doors had to be taken off hinges to bring our new friend to public view
  3. Dinosaur relation: glyptodons which are described as “giant armadillos” are related to dinosaurs, hence Dina (which is close to Dino, short for dinosaur). Armadillos are sometimes referred to as “modern-day dinosaurs” because of their bony shell
  4. Dina/Dinah in Hebrew means vindicated which means show/prove to be right/reasonable. That is the purpose of fossils- they are evidence that these magnificent animals once roamed the earth

Carol: She has the wisdom and self- confidence of a 60-year-old woman with three adult children. She is strong and stern, but caring, too. She has earned our respect and deserves to be treated like the self-possessed woman that she has become.

Dorothy Larmour: Dorthy Larmour screams glamour, fun, and prestige. Who wouldn’t want to be associated with that?!

Edna: Edna = female Eddie (the Glyptodon from the movie Ice Age).

Ellen: Because it will remind this lucky Glyptodon of the efforts of her brilliant, cool creator, who has created something that the whole Wesleyan community will enjoy in the years to come!!!!! If you want the name to reflect the efforts of women in science, choose the name of a professor whose scientific work inspires Wesleyan students.

Genesis: Because she is the first to be here!

Georgette: It is sophisticated and pretty.

Gippy: Of course! Gippy wants everyone to know that she’s a glyptodon, not a dinosaur. If she could, she’d jump up and say, “yippie.”

Giuliana: It is a very popular argentinian name and argentina is one of 3 countries glyptodons have been discovered in. It also begins with a G like the species name and looking at the fossil she looks like a Giuliana

Gjerta: Of course – Gjerta means protection, and if her large shell is any indication, she certainly needs a lot of it.

Gladys the Glyptodon you Gorgeous Giggling Gal! Good Golly it’s Grand to Gaze upon you Gladys!: It’s a name that is simple, elegant, and sonically pleasing. I have no doubt she’ll love the name.

Glapys the Glyptodon: Aside from the appealing alliteration, Glapys is a pun on both the given name “Gladys” and the Latin word “lapis,” which means stone.

Gleep Gloop: Yes, it sounds like beep boop which is a fun sound noise.

Glenda! (The Glyptodon): She’s a good old gal and she’s ready to greet everyone like a friend. Glenda is a friendly good old gal name.

Glynda: Yes, because the ancient heritage of her name means good and pure, which is fitting with her stately new home in Exley.

Glynda: Glynda the Glyptadon is a wonderful name; the alliteration alone makes it worthwhile, as well as the reference to Glinda, the good witch in the Wizard of Oz. The melding of theatre and science in this name is what a Wesleyan education is all about. Glinda, like Glynda, brings joy and happiness, as well as a feeling of home; Glynda welcomes students home to scili much like the ruby slippers bring Dorothy home to Kansas. Also like Glinda, Glynda maintains her beauty and grace despite having lived much longer than anyone would have expected. This name would pay homage to a very powerful magic heroine, and after all, magic is really just science in the end.

Glynis (full name: Glynis the Glitch): Yes, definitely. The name reminds everyone of who she is and how she came to be (again) at Wes: Glynis is simply the only good name for a Glyptodon (Glynis comes from good, even holy, is the only name that starts with “gly,” and is a bit old- fashioned like the Glyptodon that she is). And “the Glitch” is the only good “last” name for a lost Glyptodon who was found by chance, and with a “slight” glitch (no head). Glynis loves that her name captures her identity, her history, and her quirky yet old-fashioned personality.

Glypta the Good Witch: Yes!! It will make her feel both pretty and powerful, and remind her daily that she is good, which is a hard thing to remember for anyone.

Glypto-Rhonda: She will love her name because she chose it! You see she’s a fighter. She’s been taking a break from the ring for the past 10,000 or so years. But now she’s back and ready to get back in the spotlight! She actually chose this name after she was watching some old fights (for training purposes) and came across a fighter with fire in her eyes. She believes Ronda Rousey deserves the belt and Glypto-Rhonda has proclaimed that she’s gonna win it in her name! Get ready to see her whip her opponents tails, with her own! Glypto-Rhonda’s back in the game!!

GlyptoBae: Yes!! She is the collective bae of our entire school- a friend, lover, confidante, leader to all. She is a Glyptodon, but she is OUR GlyptoBae.

Glyptodonatella: The Glyptodon is well-travelled. She has a love for multi-syllable names. She is fierce and deserving of an equally fierce name.

Glyptodon McGlyptodonface: Who wouldn’t love this name?

Glyptomaniac: Modeled after the word kleptomaniac, which describes a person with irresistible urges to steal, this name is appropriate because she has yet to fail to steal my heart or the hearts of those around me. Mesmerizing. Iconic. Glyptomaniac.

Groovy Tooth: She’s been called “glyptodon” in the past, for her grooved (Greek: glyptos) teeth (dont). After awakening from decades of slumber, I’m sure she felt just a little left behind. Who wouldn’t, when surrounded by strange phrases like “that’s lit, man” and “rad, bro”? Therefore, I’m sure updating her name to “Groovy Tooth” would would help her feel a stronger sense of belonging at the new Wesleyan, while still preserving the essence of her original name.

Guiomar: I have been thinking of names for our beloved Glyptodon. After some research I see that the glyptodon originates from South American countries, often times from places where Portuguese is spoken. I looked into some Portuguese names and I found the Unisex name “Guiomar” — unisex because since we don’t know it’s specific biological gender. Guiomar (pronounced Gee-o- mar) is the name of a famous war hero. I think that is fitting for our glyptodon who has survived a type of war itself; and emerged a celebrity hero for all to bow down to!!! Source;  Other definitions of Guiomar describe someone who enjoys the freedom to do as they please, loathes restriction, and loves to be the center of attention! I find that quite fitting as well.

Gwendolyn: Yes I think she’ll love it because it’s a name full of character–just like her! We can call her Gwen (Stefani) for short. The name reflects her star quality.

Gyna: Yes because is close to her species name.

Jeff: All good things are named Jeff.

Joni Mitchell: I think she will love it or at least she would if she heard Joni Mitchell sing California. Beautiful song.

Karen: No, because no one loves being named Karen, they just are.

Lulu: Yes, she will love the name. It rolls off the tongue, “Lulu the Glyptodon.” Plus it really fits her personality. In addition it’s a somewhat gender neutral name, and it is a variation on lolo, which would be too near to “armadillo” which glyptodons are related to.

Mary Shelley (fondly just Mary): I think she will love the name because it speaks to her physique (she has a shell) and her style (she’s a classy lady). She also is a fossil that has been put back together again, with some missing/replacement parts, and I think she’d appreciate the allusion to Mary Shelley’s infamous novel, Frankenstein.

Lionturtle: The lion turtles are ancient beings that gave humans the power to control elements. This allowed them to venture deep into the spirit wilds. Many years ago a man named Wan ventured to four separate lion turtles to collect the powers of the four elements: water, earth, fire, and air. Thus began the cycle of the Avatar. In more recent history, a lion turtle taught avatar aang how to non violently strip a bender of their powers. Because of this awesome power, avatar aang successfully stopped the imperial campaign of the fire nation without taking Phoenix King Ozai’s life. I believe the Glyptodon represents a similar power to the Wesleyan community. Only she doesn’t give us the power of bending — she gives us the power of friendship.

Maya: Maya is a very fun name. It’s playful, spunky, full of zest—just like our friendly neighborhood Glyptodon. The name Maya  invites us to create nicknames: MyMy, Mypie, MayaPapaya, and  many more. In Hindu tradition and philosophy, the name Maya has significance as a reference  to mystical powers, similar to the mysterious aura that the fossil emits. Maya is a strong name, suitable for a strong Glyptodon!.

Mishell Oldmama: Yes – to be linked to a powerful person in history as Michelle Obama would be a privilege!

My Cherie Armour: It bespeaks of her inner beauty, and attractiveness.

Noodle: My sister’s dog is named Noodle and she’d be thrilled to know there’s a Glyptodon named after her..

Ozzy: It’ll be short for Ozbourne the Odd Born and she’ll love the pride it gives to her uniqueness and individuality!

Pleistocene Pam: She’ll fondly recall how she flourished between the Pliocene and Holocene epochs

Richael Moth: Yes, because she is the heart and soul of Wesleyan University and deserves to give the commencement address every year.

Rita Goode: First name derived from Emerita, the highest title given to female faculty by recognizing a lifetime of scholarship and impact on learners. Last name honors the first curator of Wesleyan’s Museum of Natural History: George Brown Goode, class of 1870.

Rolly-Poley: She will adore the name so much that when we yell “Come here Rolly-Poley,” she will roll into an enormous ball of cuteness..

Scary Mary “Shelly”: Duh, because she is monstrous and scary.

Selena: You know..

Shangela (so we’d scream halleloo): Every time you pass the Glyptodon, do you ever scream “halleloo”? Is that just me? I swear I can hear someone else saying it when I sit in SciLi. Our Glyptodon – just like Shangela from RuPaul’s Drag Race – has charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent. She oozes confidence that it takes to become America’s next fossil superstar. Her camp exudes success over her minions throughout Wesleyan. It is only appropriate then we name her after America’s Number 1 drag talent, as they both share all these attributes. They set examples of what a Wesleyan student should achieve to be and have persevered after all these seasons.

Shelley: Yes because it will make her feel powerful and safe.

“Shelly” Long, long ago: She’s likes to binge watch old Cheers episodes.

Shelley: It is a name with which she can relate and identify in very personal ways. In other words, she can see herself in that name. Moreover, it’s a name that rolls off one’s tongue and, if she doesn’t like it, it will equally roll right off her back..

Shellie: I think she will absolutely love her name! She has a beautiful, eye- catching shell and we should all let her know. It’s also a fun and playful name, reflecting her whimsical and free-spirited nature. I honestly don’t think any other name would sit right.

Shelly: Shelly is a very motherly name, showing her protectiveness of her young Glyptodons. Also her large shell makes her recognizable by name.

Spike X Lee: Absolutely! It rejects gender normative naming conventions and acknowledges both her awesomeness and the building she lives in (X Lee = Exley).

Snorlax: Yes! Glyptodon is part of the superorder of placental mammals known as Xenarthra. This clade of mammals also includes sloths, which I believe Snorlax is modeled after. It is presumed large glyptodonts were bulk feeders, as is Snorlax. The Glyptodon and Snorlax share many physical similarities, such as their round shape, feet with three claws, slow movements, and pronounced jaw structure. In addition, the Glyptodon’s appearance of waking from a long slumber fits perfectly with Snorlax’s reputation for being a heavy sleeper. Snorlax is known for being very docile and friendly, and I believe that if Wesleyan’s Glyptodon adopted a name associated with the adored Pokemon creature, then many students will come to love the Glyptodon and become fans of it in a similar way. It’s a fun name that will get the Wesleyan community involved, and I believe Snorlax perfectly captures the character and personality of our Glyptodon.

Sunnyside!: She will love the name because when I looked up pictures of glyptodons I was struck by how much they are like big, happy eggs! If not Sunnyside, we should definitely call her by some other egg-related name– it’s just too fitting, given the huge rounded shell! I chose this name specifically because it is a positive, nice sounding name that fills you with warmth.

The Glyper: Its unique-ish; Win one for the glyper!.

Volkswagen Beetle: She is dead, she can’t think. I didn’t become an archaeology student because I wanted to deal with things that are alive!!! But we will love her.

Willburina: at first she may be concerned about its unusual nature, but when she realizes there are no others of her kind around to make fun of it, she will be fine.

Xena!: You bet she will. The Glyptodon’s superorder, under scientific classification, is Xenarthra, which means “strange joints.” Their vertebral joints have extra articulations unlike other mammals. Xena’s carapace also looks like Xena the warrior princess’s armor. That Xena, according to Wikipedia, used her “formidable fighting skills to help people.” Will this Xena help people? You betcha! (She’s already helped me by making Wes a more inviting place to be. I’m not exaggerating when I say visits to her, and bringing friends to see her, got me through midterms.) Additionally, Xena comes from the Greek “xenos,” which translates to “stranger.” Poor girl has been missing from Wes’s collections for a while. So much has changed since she last saw the WesWorld. She’s a stranger in a strange land. But she’s back, like any great warrior princess, to claim her name and prove her badassery.



The Wesleyan University Ward & Howell Collection and Its Impact on the History of Science

We are excited to welcome Melanie McCalmont to Wesleyan.

Melanie McCalmont is a geographer and data scientist. She has a Master’s degree in Geography, and a Master’s degree in Life Science Communication, both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Melanie is the national expert on historic 3-dimensional relief models. She has been a relief model consultant to the Library of Congress, Yellowstone National Park, the Chicago International Map Fair, American Geographic Society Library, the MacLean Collection, and numerous universities and private collectors. She is a frequent speaker on the Ward’s Natural Science collections and the history of geovisualization.

Her book, “A Wilderness of Rocks: The Impact of Relief Models on Data Science” (2015) is available through Friesen Press and on Amazon.

Melanie is visiting the Earth & Environmental Sciences Department for in the week of April 16-23 April, to study its historic relief maps, as part of her research for her upcoming book, a biography of Edwin E. Howell, a master maker of relief maps as well as fossil casts, and one of the group of people who installed the Wesleyan fossil casts in the Judd Hall Museum of Natural History in 1870.

She will talk about the Wesleyan collections on Thursday, April 19, 11:50am-12:50 pm, in Room 405, Exley Science Center, Wesleyan University. Lecture open to the public.

The Wesleyan University Ward & Howell Collection

and Its Impact on the History of Science


Wesleyan University has a rare and historic asset of 19th century natural science specimens and geologic relief models. The supplier, Ward’s Natural Science, was a driving force behind establishment of most US natural history museums from 1865-1915.  Using primary sources (diaries) from 1870-1871, this presentation describes how Wesleyan’s collection was crafted, installed at Judd Hall, and along with other Ward specimens had a lasting impact on education and the public since 1870. We will also cover Wesleyan’s historic geologic relief models (3D maps). Crafted before aerial photography and space imagery, these models were the first accurate geovisualizations of government datasets, and have surprising links to modern technologies. Today’s researchers are mining these historic collections to create new insights and even discover new species!

Visit by Dr. Kirk Johnson, Sant Director of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

We are very excited to announce a visit to Wesleyan by

Dr. Kirk Johnson

Sant Director,  National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.

Dr Johnson will give a public lecture:  

Natural History in the Age of Humans.

The lecture is scheduled for 1 March 2018, 7:30 pm, in room Shanklin 107, and will be followed by a reception in the Woodhead Lounge at 8:30 pm.


Natural history museums represent a fundamental tool to understand and preserve Earth’s natural and cultural heritage. The public perception of museums as educational experiences masks their deeper value to human society as the creators and keepers of our knowledge of the natural and cultural world. With a rapidly growing world population, food insecurity, infectious diseases, and invasive species are problems that may find their solution in the genomics of biodiversity housed in museum collections. Minerals, meteorites, and fossils are the physical evidence of the planet’s history, climate, biological evolution, and resource base. In an increasingly digital era, museums are one of the last bastions of the real thing.

Dr. Johnson oversees more than 440 employees and a collection of more than 145 million objects—the largest natural history collection in the world. Kirk Johnson is a paleontologist who has led expeditions in 11 countries and 19 states that resulted in the discovery of more than 1,400 fossil sites. His research focuses on fossil plants and the extinction of the dinosaurs. He is known for his scientific articles, popular books, museum exhibitions, documentaries, presentations, and collaborations with artists to reconstruct ancient ecosystems. In 2010-11, he led the Snowmastodon Project, the excavation of an amazing ice age site near Snowmass Village, Colorado. This dig recovered more than 5,400 bones of mammoths, mastodons and other ice age animals and was featured in the NOVA documentary, Ice Age Death Trap, and in Johnson’s book, Digging Snowmastodon: Discovering an Ice Age World in the Colorado Rockies. His latest book, Ancient Wyoming, explores the prehistory and geology of the Bighorn Basin.

For Wesleyan, it is especially exciting to welcome Dr Johnson, because he is the present occupant of the position first held by the man who started his museum career as the first curator of the Wesleyan Museum of Natural History and the son in law of Orange Judd, ichthyologist George Brown Goode.

By that time, we hope to also celebrate the return to public life of Wesleyan’s cast of Glyptodon, as discussed in several earlier blogs. She will be exhibited in the lobby of Exley, between the entrance to the Science Library and Tischler Hall. 




More well as other visitors from the penthouse

We made some headway with the Glyptodon restoration: the tail was once more fixed to the carapace, and repairs were made to its internal structure =.

Then we cleaned Glyptodon. Now we still have to fill in a few damaged spots (see white spot in left image), and probably provide a new coat of paint. In the mean time, work has started to build a new platform for display. We are still working on deciding its new location, probably somewhere on the ground floor  in Exley. Sadly, we have not (yet) been able to locate the missing skull and foot despite major reorganization, removal of garbage, and sorting through items in the penthouse of Exley.

We did move down some more casts from the penthouse: two ichthyosaurs, two plesiosaurs, and a mosasaur. We are working on getting them out of their crates, cleaning them and doing minor repairs. We hope to mount them on the walls, third floor Exley.




The Glyptodon – more news and pictures

The Glyptodon carapace (see earlier blogs for more background information on the Wesleyan Glyptodon) was partially unpacked, so we could for the first time since 1957 inspect it – still in pretty good shape. It needs cleaning from 60 years of dust accumulation, some restoration, a new coat of paint, and re-attachment of the tail. We still have not yet found the skull/jaw and foot that were present in its glory days, but are still looking for them in the penthouse, as well as looking to see whether we could replace them if they cannot be found. Then we need to rebuild its pedestal.

The Glyptodon as seen from the front (upper) and back (lower) in its glory days, when it was displayed in the Orange Judd Museum of Natural Sciences, before 1957. Note the skull and hind left foot present, and the armored tail visible from the rear.


Copy of 1876 advertisement by Ward, dated 1876, in which he names ‘the Wesleyan University of Middletown, Conn.’, as having purchased a number of his ‘Casts of celebrated Fossils’.

The Glyptodon carapace (in the back) and its tail (in crate in front) reunited in the same room instead of being in the penthouse of Exley Science Center and the tunnels under Foss Hill, probably for the first time since 1957. The second picture shows the carapace in side view (head-end to the left), showing white spot where carapace has been damaged. Third picture: the carapace seen from the rear, with opening for the tail attachment (metal bracket visible), as shown in more detail in the next picture. The fifth picture shows the detail of the front of the carapace, where the skull should be attached, and the last picture shows the surface of the carapace, covered in dust but still in good shape.

The Glyptodon – continued

Today we finally moved the crate with the plaster cast of the Glyptodon body-skeleton (see earlier blogs) from the tunnels underneath Foss Hill to the machine shop at the ground level of Exley. The name Glyptodon was given by Richard Owen (1839), who was the first to realize that a number of fossils described as separate animals were, in fact, all part of the same animal, a now extinct giant armadillo. Glyptodons were South American mammals, and the original fossil of which ours is a cast was found in Argentina in 1846, and is now in a museum in Dijon, France. The casts were sold by Ward’s Scientific Company of Rochester, NY, founded by Henry A Ward (1840-1906), and Wesleyan obtained one for the Judd Hall Museum of Natural History in the 1870s (it cost then $150.-).


Picture and text from Ward’s catalog (the Glyptodon was nr 36).


The Glyptodon in the Orange Judd Museum of Natural History [credit Wesleyan’s Special Collections & Archives].
We could get a better view of it, and noted that the internal structure with the legs supporting the body carapace were still intact.


Pictures of the Glyptodon in its crate, now in the Exley machine shop. Left: view from underside of carapace; Second left: detail of support legs; Third: detail of label and surface of carapace; Fourth: detail of carapace.

Looking for Clara in Wesleyan history.

We are looking for documentation of the many fossils in the Wesleyan Collections, with much information in ancient, handwritten ‘accession books’ (dating back to the 19th century). In reading through the pages of these accession books, which in faded handwriting show which fossils were received in the Wesleyan Museum, when they came in, who collected and donated them, one sees that the collectors and donors alike were predominantly men, as judged from their names. It  comes as a surprise to see ‘Clara A. Pease’, obviously the name of a woman, as donor of earth-worm material to the collections: who was this Clara Alice Pease?

Unfortunately, I could not find out much about her, but the little bit I found is quite fascinating. I found her name in the Wesleyan alumni book, as an alumna in the year of 1882. I had of course known (but did not think of it) that Wesleyan had been co-educational early on in its history, with women first admitted in 1872, but the decision to admit women was rescinded in 1909. Wesleyan was a Methodist college, and Methodism had the well-established practice of educating young men and women together. The decision to admit women reflected the efforts of important trustees, specifically Orange Judd (a Wesleyan graduate of the year 1847). Orange Judd donated $100,000.- to Wesleyan for building the hall named after him,  named the Orange Judd Hall of Natural Sciences in 1871.

Scientific American (20 August, 1870) has the following text regarding the Judd Hall (which seems to imply that chemistry is a dangerous field of study):


The gift of Orange Judd, of this city, one hundred thousand dollars to the Wesleyan University, at Middletown, Conn., to found a museum of Natural History, and a school of chemistry and technology, is one of the noblest benefactions of modern times. 

A few years ago Mr. Judd was a student at that college. He was a poor boy, and compelled to make his way in the world, and encounter at the outset the difficulty of finding any school in which to study the natural sciences. With rare industry and perseverance he has been able to overcome all of these obstacles, and to create for himself a fortune that he now seems disposed to devote to the good of his fellow-men.

The Museum and Laboratory is 62 feet front, and 94 feet deep, and is practically five stories high, as the basement is mostly above the surface. It is built of Portland sandstone, and is essentially fire-proof, as the cornices, doors, and window frames are of iron, and the roof of slate, and an iron and brick floor, supported on brick and iron pillars and walls, completely shuts off all fire communication between the chemical department in the first story and basement, and the natural history  and cabinet rooms above. The window sashes are the only wood work exposed to fire from without, and the building is 76 feet distant from any other. 

The internal arrangement of the building is in accordance with the experience of the best experts in the county.

The President of the College, Dr. Cummings, Professors Johnston and Rice, in company with Mr. Judd, and the architect, Mr. Rogers, visited the laboratories of Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Brown, and Amherst Colleges, and after consultation with the professors of these institutions, decided upon the details of the construction, and the result has been the most complete museum and laboratory to be found in the county. Such a school cannot fail to greatly add to the usefullness of the Wesleyan University, and it is to be hoped that the alumni of the College, inspired by Mr. Judd’s noble example, may be led to contribute the necessary funds towards founding the professorships required by an efficient department of natural history and technology.

Orange Judd also was the father-in-law of the first curator of the Wesleyan Museum, George Brown Goode, a Wesleyan graduate (1870) and well-known ichthyologist, who went on to become the Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian in charge of the National Museum.

Despite this advocacy by Mr Judd, clearly an influential man in Wesleyan’s history, the Wesleyan alumni records show that from 1872 until 1892, only 43 women graduated, and women thus were only a very small minority of the total number of undergraduates. As this webpage, titled ‘Wesleyan’s First Women‘ states:   ‘Upon graduating, most followed the mores of the time which forced women to choose between marriage and a career. Of the forty-three who graduated, twenty-three did not marry and went into careers, usually in teaching. ‘

Clara became a teacher. I have not been able to find out much about her or her life-after-Wesleyan by googling, but she became the author of a book on general science for use in a first year course at the high school level. The title page of the book lists her as Clara A Pease of the High School, Hartford, Connecticut.

The book is titled ‘A first year course in general science’, was published in 1915 by Charles E. Merrill, and includes ‘a simple laboratory course’, with the aim to ‘Study the thing itself, not study about it’. The author ‘ makes grateful acknowledgement her former teacher, Professor William North Rice, of Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn.’ William North Rice (1845-1928) was a Wesleyan alumnus (class of 1865), a geologist, educator and Methodist minister who was deeply concerned with the reconciliation of science and religious faith. In 1867, he obtained a PhD at Yale, the first PhD in geology to be granted in the US.  He was professor in Geology at Wesleyan, serving as acting president several times, and as curator for the Wesleyan Museum: the accession books show many specimens were collected by him, from Europe and the US West.

Clara’s book is available digitally online (e.g.,, and paper reprints of the book (on paper) can be bought through the publisher ‘Forgotten Books’. I found it of great interest to look at the wide range of topics covered in this book for high school (astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology and – following her own study interests from her undergraduate years at Wesleyan – geology).

The table of contents shows 26 chapters:


There are many figures all through the book, such as this one of what we now call a dinosaur footprint, then labeled as    ‘ an animal with a foot resembling a bird’s‘ (p. 193,  Chapter XVI):

At the end of the text is the Laboratory Manual, describing 31 exercises, listing necessary ingredients and questions.

Working to get our fossils documented thus thus provides interesting bits and pieces of information. Maybe we can find out more about Clara, which would helps us gain insight in how some of Wesleyan’s early women students were able to use the results of their intellectual activity as Wesleyan students later in their lives.