Charles Wachsmuth

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Charles Wachsmuth
Born September 13, 1829
Hanover, Germany
Died February 7, 1896(1896-02-07) (aged 66)
Residence Burlington, Iowa,
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Fields Paleontology
Institutions Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University
Known for Crinoid fossils
Plate LIII from the The North American Crinoidea camerata, Springer, Frank; Wachsmuth, Charles.

Charles Wachsmuth (September 13, 1829 – February 7, 1896)[1] was an American paleontologist born in Hanover. Educated as a lawyer, he left his profession due to ill-health and emigrated to the United States. He settled in Burlington, Iowa where he became fascinated with the crinoid fossils found in the local limestone formations. Within a few years he had built an extensive collection.[2]

In 1864 he met Louis Agassiz and the following year traveled to Europe where he studied crinoids in the British Museum and other famous collections. Inspired, he devoted all his energies to the continued collection and study of crinoid fossils. He supplied crinoid specimens to Agassiz in Cambridge and to the British Museum.[3]

He befriended another attorney, Frank Springer, in Burlington and together they continued the study of crinoids and published a series of important studies on the subject.[2]

Professor Wachsmuth was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, of the Geological Society of America, of the Iowa Academy of Science, of the Imperial Society of Natural Sciences of Moscow, and corresponding member of the Philadelphia Academy of Science.[2]


  1. ^ "Charles Wachsmuth". Find A Grave. Retrieved 13 September 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Biographical Review of Des Moines County, Iowa: Containing Biographical and Genealogical Sketches of Many of the Prominent Citizens of To-day and Also of the Past. Chicago: Hobart Publishing Company. 1905. Retrieved 13 September 2016. 
  3. ^ Bather, Francis Arthur (1896). "Obituary. Charles Wachsmuth". Geological Magazine. 33: 189–192. 


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Wachsmuth, Charles". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

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