What does the “random journal entry” read?

Posted: December 10, 2012 by Paul D Brinkman in History of Science, Research Blog
Tags: , , , , , , ,

A number of curious readers have asked the obvious question: what does the “random journal entry” shown in my previous post read?

There are actually four entries on the two pages depicted, including 8-9 April 1923 and 5-6 April 1924. The entries for 8-9 April 1923 are the longest and most interesting. The entry for 8 April reads: “A very bad gale last night and today till evening and quite cold[.] went out on tide flat to get a Nesodon skull and lower jaws but tide did not go out far enough to uncover it[.] wind was so strong could not walk against it[.] in Afternoon wrapped specimens.” The next entry reads: “Very rainy until noon and cloudy till about 3 P.M. Prospected tide flat and did some wrapping specimens.”

John B. Abbott working at the Field Museum soon after the expedition returned home.

John B. Abbott working at the Field Museum soon after the expedition returned home.

This is no tall tale. Abbott was then encamped near the Rio Coyle, on the southeastern coast of Patagonia, and working in the mid-Miocene Santa Cruz beds. Anyone who has worked in this windy place will recognize the difficulties Abbott regales! Elmer S. Riggs, leader of the expedition, describes this weather vividly in an entry in his own journal with no date. He writes: “So strong…was wind pressure that men could not stand against it on the beach. Repeatedly we were dashed against rocks, caps and glasses blown away. Rocks were loosened from the cliffs and endangered our heads in the fall.”

Abbott and Riggs were working on the tide flat near these cliffs.

Abbott and Riggs were working on the tide flat near these cliffs.

Nesodon, now extinct, was a large-bodied notoungulate mammal endemic to South America. It was one of the more common Santa Cruz animals.

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Comments
  1. Robbyn says:

    I was happy to see the new picture Paul. Do you mind if I copy and save to put on my ancestry page? I have not even read the whole diary, but one page I remember reading where he tells about finding someones glasses after a wind storm. What were the changes of that? Thanks again for the picture.

    • Paul D Brinkman says:

      No problem. I also have another picture of Abbott in the field in Canada. I’ll send that to you when I get the manuscript finished. Stay tuned. Also, the incident with Elmer’s eyeglasses happened about this same time and is referred to in the other journal entry.

  2. Arthur Bogan says:

    bad pun but great reading.

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