S. Stillman Berry (1887-1984) was both a scientist and a businessman. Born in Unity, Maine, in 1887, he spent many of his early years traveling back and forth between the family homes in Maine, Montana, and Redlands, California. He received a B.S. in Zoology from Stanford University in 1909, an M.S. from Harvard University in 1910, and a Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1913. His field of special interest was malacology. He served as librarian and research assistant at Scripps Institution for Biological Research, 1913-1916. Although this was his first and last employment as a zoologist, he continued his malacological work the rest of his life, carrying out field investigations, being active in professional organizations, and publishing. His own personal publication, Leaflets in Malacology, appeared from 1946 until 1969. In 1917 Berry was elected President of the family business, the Winnecook Ranch Company, and held the position until his death. Berry was also a professional nurseryman. This began as a hobby because of his interest in genetics. His horticultural business centered on the hybridization of irises and daffodils, which provided Berry a welcome income during the years of the Great Depression
The papers of S. Stillman Berry document his work in malacology, his brief career at Scripps, his horticultural business, his family relationships, and his college years. Much of the material consists of correspondence. Also included are diaries for parts of his life, as well as school notebooks, photographs, and memorabilia of his college years. Of special interest are photographs, clippings, and correspondence concerning the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, which caused a great deal of damage at Stanford while Berry was there
Mailbox remnant from 1906 San Francisco earthquake
William F. Bolger, American, born 1923
metal (bronze); wood
Height x Width x Depth: 6 3/8 x 10 13/16 x 1 15/16 in. (16.2 x 27.5 x 5 cm) [mailbox] Height x Width x Depth: 9 1/16 x 13 3/4 x 2 in. (23 x 35 x 5.1 cm) [mailbox with frame]
Structures & Furnishings
Place of Use:
This cast bronze mailbox front, manufactured by Yale and Towne Manufacturing Company, was installed in the main post office in San Francisco, California. The mailbox remained in use until 1972. The front plate of the mailbox was then framed and given to Postmaster General William F. Bolger.
The San Francisco earthquake of April 18, 1906, and the subsequent three-day fire that destroyed much of the city, rank as one of the most significant natural disasters in US history. The main San Francisco post office, where this mailbox was located, suffered damage in the earthquake but survived the fire. The post office accepted letters without stamps until regular service could resume.
When the object was initially brought into the collection, it was in a wooden frame with the label: "This bronze antique box front was installed in the Main San Francisco / Post Office in 1905. It survived the 1906 earthquake and fire. / It was cast in about 1895 and retired from service in 1972". The frame and label were removed by the museum's conservation staff.
Ingram, Jane H. Post Office Lockbox Doors Illustrated Guide.
Greenville, South Carolina: Hardwick Printing Service, 1989.