This series consists of research notes on ship fouling made by John Paul Visscher in connection with his work as Special Investigator for the United States Bureau
of Fisheries, 1922-1925. Also included are reports on ship fouling by Ferdinand Armin Varrelman, who assisted Visscher on the investigation of Navy vessels.
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7239, John Paul Visscher Papers
These papers document Visscher's investigations on marine fouling of ship bottoms and include general correspondence, 1922-1945; photographs of ship fouling; manuscripts;
and research notes and reports on ship fouling.
John Paul Visscher (1895-1950) was born in Holland, Michigan. He received his A.B. degree from Hope College, Holland, Michigan, 1917, and his A.M. and Ph.D. degrees
from Johns Hopkins University, 1920 and 1924. Visscher served with the United States Army during World War I, as Lieutenant in the Chemical Warfare Service. His first teaching
position was at Washington University, St. Louis, where he served as Instructor of Zoology from 1920 to 1922. In 1924, he joined the staff of Western Reserve University as
Assistant Professor of Biology. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1926, Professor in 1931, and Head of the Biology Department in 1937. Visscher remained at Western
Reserve University until his death in 1950.
Visscher's primary interest was protozoology. He also did extensive research on marine fouling of ships' bottoms. From 1922 to 1925, Visscher spent his summers as a special
investigator for the United States Bureau of Fisheries, examining marine fouling on United States Navy and commercial ships. This research led to the publication of The
Nature and Extent of Fouling of Ships' Bottoms in 1928. During 1935 and 1936, Visscher served as special investigator for the United States Navy's Division of Construction
and Repair. In 1945 and 1946, he acted as a consultant at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.