Journal Article

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  • The well-travelled octopus: from Dunedin to Dublin in 1886
    Crane, R.
    Journal of Natural Science Collections, Volume 12, pages 96 - 104

    A large octopus Macroctopus maorum (Hutton 1880) (NMINH:2009.53.25) was bought in 1886 by A.C. Haddon for the Dublin Museum. It had been preserved using hot-glycerine an innovative method devised by T.J. Parker in Dunedin. This article traces its passage from one side of the world to the other through the auspices of Julius von Haast, New Zealand Commissioner for the Indian & Colonial Exhibition (1886), London. The preservation technique used by Parker, an evolutionist, zoologist and museum curator is described. Private correspondence between Parker, Haddon and Haast are complemented by contemporary newspaper reports in this account of late-nineteenth-century museum natural history.

    Keywords: A.C. Haddon, Dublin Museum, T.J. Parker, Otago Museum, Indian & Colonial Exhibition (1886), Julius von Haast, glycerine preservation technique;, octopus, nineteenth-century science