John Henry Comstock
John Henry Comstock (1849-1931) was an eminent researcher in
entomologyand a leading educator. His work provided the basis for classification of butterflies, moths, and scale insects.
Early life and education
Comstock was born on
February 24, 1849in Janesville, Wisconsin. He studied at Cornell University, graduating in 1874. He also studied at Yale Universityand the University of Leipzig. In 1878 he married Anna Botsford. She was a wood engraver who beautifully illustrated many of his articles. Comstock became a professor of Nature Studies at Cornell.
Comstock worked as an instructor at Cornell until 1879. He worked at
Vassar Collegefrom 1877 to 1879. Between 1879 and 1881 he became the chief Entomologist of the USDA in Washington, D.C. In 1882 he became professor of Entomology and Invertebrate Zoology at Cornell. He also did work in insect morphology and is best known as the co-proposer of the Comstock-Needham systemwith James George Needham.
Comstock, through his own work and that of his students, had a significant influence in the development of entomology departments throughout the United States.
He died on
March 20, 1931.
The John Henry Comstock Award
Entomological Society of Americagives out an award in each of its five branches to the outstanding graduate student of the year. This award is the John Henry Comstock Graduate Student Award.
Comstock published many articles including:
* "A Manual for the study of insects" (1930) illustrated by
Anna Botsford Comstock.
* "The Spider book: a manual for the study of the spiders and near relatives" (1913).
* "Notes on Entomology" (Ithaca, 1875).
* "Annual Reports of Entomologist" (Washington, 1879-1881).
* "Report on Cotton Insects" (1879).
* "Second Annual Report of the Department of Entomology of Cornell University," including a monograph on "
Diaspinae" (Ithaca, 1883).
* an article on "
Hymenoptera" in the "Standard Natural History" (Boston, 1884).
About Henry and Anna:
* "Anna Botsford Comstock," "John Henry Comstock," "Harrison Gray Dyar," "Mary Jane Rathbun," and "Robert Edwards Carter Stearns." In: "American National Biography". New York: (Oxford University Press, 1999).
* [http://www.entsoc.org/awards/student/comstock.htm The John Henry Comstock Graduate Student Award]
* [http://www.entsoc.org/awards/student/comstock_list.htm List of winners of the Comstock Award]
* [http://rmc.library.cornell.edu/EAD/htmldocs/RMA00025.html The correspondence of John Henry and Anna Botsford Comstock in the Cornell Library]
* [http://darwin.lib.cam.ac.uk/perl/nav?pclass=name;pkey=Comstock%2C%20J.%20H.;offset=1000 Correspondence with Charles Darwin]
* [http://darwin.lib.cam.ac.uk/perl/nav?pclass=calent;pkey=12621 Letter to Darwin]
* [http://bcrc.bio.umass.edu/kunkel/comstock/www/ Cover of "A Manual ..." with an engraving by Anna Botsford Comstock]
* [http://www.uwire.com/content/topnews103101001.html Article mentioning John and Anna as early married professors]
* [http://www.archive.org/details/introductiontoen00comsrich Introduction to Entomology (1908)]
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