8a. Hitchcock's First Footprints, 1836


This was Edward Hitchcock's first published article on the fossil footprints of the Connecticut River Valley. He said that his attention was first called to the subject by James Deane, who send him some casts of impressions. He was soon able to obtain the red sandstone slabs themselves, and these were deposited in the Amherst College cabinet, where they would soon be joined by samples from other localities. Hitchcock described most ot these samples in his article.

Included with the article was a folding plate with twenty-four figures of his collected tracks, which Hitchcock was convinced were made by birds. We show here a detail from this plate.


Hitchcock, Edward. "Ornithichnology. Description of the Foot marks of Birds, (Ornithichnites) on new Red Sandstone in Massachusetts," in: American Journal of Science, vol. 29 (1836), pp. 307-340. This work is part of our History of Science Collection, but it was NOT included in the original exhibition.

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