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Catalog Data

Unknown  Search this
Laybourne, Roxie C. 1910-2003  Search this
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Division of Birds  Search this
United States National Museum Dept. of Biology Division of Birds  Search this
Physical description:
Number of Images: 1; Color: Black and white; Size: 10w x 8h; Type of Image: Person, candid; Medium: Photograpic print
Photographic print
Person, candid
c. 1950s
Historic Images of the Smithsonian
With Smithsonian Secretary Alexander Wetmore's encouragement, Laybourne accepted a short-term appointment in 1944 in the Bird Division at the National Museum of Natural History, working with taxidermist Watson Perrygo and curator Herbert Friedmann. Known as the "Feather Lady," Laybourne pioneered the field of forensic ornithology at the Smithsonian Institution by studying the detailed microscopic structure of plumaceous (downy) feather barbules and creating a technique of identifying species of birds from fragmentary feather samples. Her methods revolutionized aviation safety by creating a technique of identifying birds involved in aircraft bird strikes. That work led to the development of the first laboratory in the world dedicated solely to feather identification. The methods she developed are now routinely applied to studies of prey remains, evidence from criminal cases, and anthropological artifacts.
For more images of Roxie Laybourne, see SIA2009-2205, SIA2010-0575, SIA2010-0580, SIA2010-0639, SIA2014-07398, SIA2014-07403, SIA2014-07404, SIA2014-07405, SIA2014-07406, SIA2014-07407, SIA2014-07411, SIA2014-07413, SIA2014-07417, SIA2014-07421, SIA2014-07431, SIA2014-07434, SIA2014-07441, SIA2014-07442, and SIA2014-07448.
Roxie Laybourne is standing at a counter in the Bird Division of the National Museum of Natural History holding the body of a duck. There are five more duck specimens on the counter.
Contained within:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 04-086, Box 2, Folder:
Contact information:
Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,
Biology  Search this
Ornithologists  Search this
Ornithology  Search this
Women  Search this
Birds--Anatomy  Search this
Birds--Collection and preservation  Search this
Smithsonian Institution--Employees  Search this
Birds  Search this
Zoological specimens--Collection and preservation  Search this
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Restrictions & Rights:
No restrictions
Data Source:
Smithsonian Archives - History Div