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Collection Tier:
Tier 2

Photographs
Magic Lantern Slides
Magic Lantern Slideshow - John Burroughs ➔ Lantern Slide, Bird Nesting Box

Identifier:
2021.6.22.50
Description:
This colored photographic lantern slide labeled "birds' nesting box, near Slabsides, Ulster Park, N.Y" depicts a small bird house attached to a tree in front of a stone wall.

Slabsides is the log cabin built by naturalist John Burroughs and his son on a nine-acre (3.6 ha) wooded and hilly tract in 1895 one mile (1.6 km) west of Riverby, his home in West Park, New York. From the time of its construction to the last year of his life, Burroughs received many visitors at the cabin, ranging from Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Ford to students from Vassar College, just across the Hudson River.

This slide is part of slideshow 2021.6.22 about John Burroughs utilized for educational purposes by the Grand Rapids Public Museum.
Date:
1916 – 1926
Materials:
Glass
Dimensions:
4" h 3.25" w
Current Location Status:
In Storage
Makers/Donors
Grand Rapids Public Museum
The Grand Rapids Lyceum of Natural History was established in 1854 by a group of civic leaders, inspired by a movement sweeping the country. Followers of the Lyceum Movement believed that education, in the form of libraries, museums, lectures and discussions, and public schools, could help right the illnesses of society and preserve democracy.

In the early 1860s the Civil War had put a halt to the activities of the Lyceum. But in the summer of 1865, the war was over, and the enthusiasm of a group of teenage boys for new ideas about science and nature would bring the fledgling Museum back to life.

In 1868 the Grand Rapids Lyceum of Natural History and the Grand Rapids Scientific Club merged to form the Kent Scientific Institute. The new organization successfully combined the youthful enthusiasm of local high school students with the experience of prominent civic leaders to create a successful museum for their community.

In 1881, the Kent Scientific Institute reached an agreement with the Board of Education which allowed them to store their collections at Central High School.

In February of 1903, the Board of Education agreed to purchase the Howlett House, at the corner of Jefferson and Washington, to be the permanent home of the Kent Scientific Institute.

The "new" Grand Rapids Public Museum was built during the Great Depression with WPA funds from the Federal Government. The building itself was a radical departure from most contemporary museums, and was described by Museum Director Frank DuMond as "accessible as a dime store and friendly as your next door neighbor."

The Grand Rapids Public Museum began experimenting with planetarium equipment in the early 1960s, and hired its first curator for the new technology in 1964. The planetarium was eventually named after Grand Rapids astronaut Roger B. Chaffee, who was killed in the Apollo I disaster on January 27, 1967.

In 1989, the Grand Rapids Public Museum took over the management of the Voigt House in the Heritage Hill Neighborhood. The opulent home was built in 1895 and includes more than 100 years of the Voigt family's possessions.

The Grand Rapids Public Museum's current facility opened in 1994 on the west bank of the Grand River in the heart of downtown. It contains three floors of exhibits, the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium, the Cook Carousel Pavilion, Meijer Theater, cafe, and gift shop.
 


John Burroughs
John Burroughs (April 3, 1837 – March 29, 1921) was an American naturalist and nature essayist, active in the U.S. conservation movement. The first of his essay collections was Wake-Robin in 1871. In the words of his biographer Edward Renehan, Burroughs' special identity was less that of a scientific naturalist than that of "a literary naturalist with a duty to record his own unique perceptions of the natural world." The result was a body of work whose resonance with the tone of its cultural moment explains both its popularity at that time and its relative obscurity since.