In 1852, the Smithsonian was only 6 years old when curators started receiving specimens of frogs and birds from a teenager in Illinois.

    That teenager's name was Robert Kennicott. He went on to become an accomplished naturalist and herpetologist and contributed hundreds of pieces to the Smithsonian during his life.

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    A photographic portrait of Robert Kennicott taken before his death in 1866. Kennicott was one of the earliest contributors to the Smithsonian Institution.

    Unknown/Smithsonian Archives

    "He basically collected things that are in all of our departments," said Gene Hunt, a curator and paleontologist at the Smithsonian. "He sort of pulls together all the departments of our museum, in one person."

posted by thenewgreen: 404 days ago