Philadelphia Chapter Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation

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A New Exhibition in Philosophical Hall Opens June 21, 2003
Stuffing Birds, Pressing Plants, Shaping Knowledge
Natural History in North America, 1730-- 1860
21 June 2003 - 31 December 2004

Visit historic Philosophical Hall to see an exhibition of the finned and the furred, the pressed and the painted, the stuffed and the mounted—a plethora of historical objects about natural history in North America from 1730-1860. Many of the 235 objects on view, some for the first time, are drawn from the American Philosophical Society's treasure trove of rare books and manuscripts, fine arts collections, and scientific specimens—all accumulated or collected since the Society's founding in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin.

See botanical specimens from the Lewis and Clark expedition; Jefferson's megalonyx bones (a prehistoric sloth that our third President hailed as proof of the superiority of American fauna); rare books including Linnaeus's Systema Naturae and Buffon's extraordinary menagerie; exquisite botanical drawings by William Bartram; ornithological studies and images by Alexander Wilson and John James Audubon; the mastodon teeth and bones that sparked turn-of-the-nineteenth century mammoth-mania; snakes and fish preserved in alcohol; and a stuffed turkey and eagle from Charles Willson Peale's Museum, this country's first major public natural history museum, located for many years in Philosophical Hall.

Stuffing Birds, Pressing Plants, Shaping Knowledge: Natural History in North America 1730-1860 will be on view in Philosophical Hall, 104 South Fifth Street, from June 21, 2003- December 31, 2004.
Wednesday - Sunday: 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. (March 1 to Labor Day)
Thursday - Sunday: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Labor Day to March 1)
First Friday of each month: Open until 8 p.m. Closed holidays
Admission is free.
Group visits of ten or more must be scheduled in advance (subject to availability). Call 215.440.3427.
Teachers and educators can arrange a class visit or learn about our programs by calling 215.440.3497 or e-mailing


Updated May 12, 2003