Artifacts & Documents: Pictures and Paintings

Banner of Rock Types and Dates, Orra White Hitchcock

zoomable artifact image here

Dig Deeper

Orra White Hitchcock created 61 illustrations for her husband Edward to use in his classes at Amherst College. This long banner compares the naming systems current when American geologists were trying to match their geological strata with those of Europe. With so many systems vying for primacy, it was not a simple task. The headings at the far right read: 

Formations, and Sub-Formations / Proportional Section / De La Beche 1832  / Brogniart 1829 / Lyell 1833 / MacCullough / Coneybeare / Werner & Jameson / Others / (illegible)

When reading down the layers in the chart, what Werner called "Secondary Floetz" was Coneybear's "Supermedial," MacCullough's "Secondary," Lyell's "Wealdean and Cretaceous" and other types,  Brogniart's "Izemian," and several types in De la Beche's scheme, ending with "Oolitic and Cretaceous."

Orra White Hitchcock
c. 1828-1840
302 x 58 cm.
pen and ink on linen
Courtesy of:
Edward and Orra White Hitchcock Papers, Amherst College Archives and Special Collections, Amherst College Library