Harry Clifford Fassett

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Harold Clifford Fassett
Born May 9, 1870
Contra Costa Co., California
Died San Francisco, California
December 9, 1953
Occupation mapmaker, photographer and fisheries expert
Parent(s) Harris Harding Fassett and Emma Louise Neal
Woman on Funafuti, Tuvalu, 1900, then known as Ellice Islands
Woman on Funafuti, Tuvalu, then known as Ellice Islands. H. C. Fassett (1900)

Harry Clifford Fassett (1870–1953) worked for the United States Fish Commission and later the United States Bureau of Fisheries. He became an expert on the salmon fisheries in Alaska and was also a map-maker and photographer.

Fassett was born May 9, 1870, in Contra Costa Co., California.[1] He married Myra Beck in 1919. Harry and Myra Fassett were residents of San Francisco from 1934 and Harry Fassett was member of California Academy of Sciences from 1945 until his death on December 9, 1953.[1]

Early career with the United States Fish Commission[edit]

In 1889 Fassett jointed USFC Albatross as a captain's clerk. In 1893 and 1894 Fassett was engaged in chart-making on the Northern fur seal and fishery investigations carried out by the United States Fish Commission on USFC Albatross.[2] His duties expanded to include photography using a glass-plate camera on the Alaskan salmon research cruises conducted from 1894 to 1897.[3]

As captain’s clerk on the 1889-1900 Pacific cruise of USFC Albatross conducted by the United States Fish Commission, Fassett was engaged in chart making[4] and photography; recording people, communities and scenes during this voyage using a glass-plate camera.[5] USFC Albatross sailed from San Francisco on 23 August 1899, into the South and Central Pacific, visiting the Marquesas, Paumotu, Society Islands, Cook Islands, Tonga, Fiji, Ellice Islands, Gilbert Islands, Marshall Islands, Caroline Islands and the Ladrone Islands. The ship visited Japan, departing Yokohama on 2 June 1900 to visit Hakodate, Japan, and Kamchatka, north of the Aleutian Islands, and collected biological specimens in the North Pacific and into the Bering Sea and ultimately returned to San Francisco on 30 October 1900 after a cruise of 14 months.

Later career with the United States Bureau of Fisheries[edit]

In 1902, the United States Fish Commission was reorganized as the United States Bureau of Fisheries and was made part of the newly created United States Department of Commerce and Labor. By 1907 Fassett is titled in official publications as a fishery expert,[6] and participated in the Albatross Philippine Expedition,[7] from 16 October 1907 to 4 May 1910, conducted by the United States Bureau of Fisheries and the Smithsonian Institution, under Commander Marbury Johnston and Hugh McCormick Smith, Deputy Commissioner of Fisheries, Director of the Expedition.[8]

From 1911 to 1919, Fassett represented the United States Bureau of Fisheries in Alaska and was involved in further salmon research in Alaska and the Pribilof Islands fur seal investigations.[1]


Two topographical features of Alaska are named in his honor: Fassett Point on Kodiak Island and a glacier near Yakutat, Alaska.[9]


  1. ^ a b c "Biographical Sketch by Sharon Landwehr, Archives Volunteer, Californian Academy of Science" (PDF). Retrieved 14 Sep 2011. 
  2. ^ Report Upon the Inquiry Respecting Food-Fishes and the Fishing-Grounds, Richard Rathbun, Assistant in Charge (1893)
  3. ^ Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission, VOL. XVIII, George M. Bowers (1898) F. M. Chamberlain and H. C. Fassett referred to as both rendering valuable service in photography
  4. ^ Paumotu archipelago, South Pacific Ocean: sketch of the west shore of Fakarava Atoll from Nqaruae pass to the south point / by the officers of the U.S.F.C. Str. 'Albatross' in October 1899, Comdr Jeff'n F. Moser, U.S.N. Com'd'g; copy by H. C. Fassett.
  5. ^ Records of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, National Archives & Records Administration, U.S..
  6. ^ Department of Commerce and Labor, Bureau of Fisheries, George M. Bowers, Commissioner, Some Observations on Salmon and Trout in Alaska, Bureau of Fisheries Document No, 627, Washington, Government Printing Office (1907)
  7. ^ David G. Smith, Jeffrey T. Williams, The Great Albatross Philippine Expedition and Its Fishes, Marine Fisheries Review, Fall, 1999
  8. ^ "Collections Search". 
  9. ^ Latitude: 59.31333; Longitude: -138.53889

External links[edit]

Media related to Harry Clifford Fassett at Wikimedia Commons