Held at: Delaware County Institute of Science [Contact Us]11 Veterans Square, Media, PA, 19063
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Delaware County Institute of Science. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
T. Chalkley Palmer (1860-1934) was a chemist who worked for the Sharpless Dye-Wood Extract Company near Chester, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. He was also interested in botany and mineralogy and served as president of both the Delaware County Institute of Science (Media, PA) and the Academy of Natural Sciences (Philadelphia, PA).
T. Chalkley Palmer was born near Media, Delaware County, Pennsylvania to Lewis and Mary Palmer in 1860. His father owned mills along Ridley Creek, but was also "a noted botanist and mineralogist, and had in his possession one of the finest collection[s] of plants and minerals in Delaware County."
Chalkley Palmer attended Westtown School (Chester County, PA) and Haverford College (Delaware County, PA). After graduating from Haverford College in 1882, Palmer took a position at the Sharpless Dye-Wood Extract Company, eventually working as a chemist and becoming "an authority on dyes and chemicals," having written several papers on these subjects for various journals, local and international.
Like his father, Palmer was also interested in botany and mineralogy, collecting several samples of plants and minerals from Delaware County throughout his lifetime and lecturing on these topics at various institutions. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, he was especially concerned with studying diatoms, a major group of algae. He served as president of the Delaware County Institute of Science from 1894 to 1934 and the Academy of Natural Sciences from 1926 to 1928.
Palmer married Hannah Jane Walters in 1886 and they had two children, Walter and Lewis. Palmer passed away in 1934.
Quoted text from: Cope, Gilbert, and Henry Graham Ashmead. "T. Chalkley Palmer." Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Chester and Delaware Counties, Pennsylvania. Volume 1. New York: Lewis Publishing Company, 1904. Page 430. Accessed August 8, 2014. http://books.google.com/books?id=Ns0wAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA430-IA2
This collection largely consists of biological, botanical, mineral specimens, and microscopic slides. A card catalog that corresponds to the specimens and some of Palmer's lecture notes are also present.
Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.
In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Delaware County Institute of Science directly for more information.
- Delaware County Institute of Science
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Sarah Leu through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
- This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
- Access Restrictions
Contact Delaware County Institute of Science for information about accessing this collection.