- 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.
"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."