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GEORGE BARNARD & E.G. LOVE, A TALE ABOUT TWO ENTOMOLOGISTS

The UNION POSTALE UNIVERSELLE CARTE POSTALE, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA has a black 1½d stamp cancelled by an illegible postmark, and it has a photo of the ‘Charleville Bore’. It is addressed to E.G. Love Esq Ph.D., 80 East 55 St., New York, U.S.A. and there is a reception postmark NEW YORK, N.Y.-STA. H/ JUN 15/ 8 - PM/ 1901 (Figure 1).

The reverse has four postmarks, an incomplete originating postmark ROCKHAMPTON, QUEENSLAND at the upper border, a T.P.O. No 2 C. R/ MY 2/ QUEENSLAND (with no year), an incomplete Sydney transit dated May ( ) 1901, as well as another reception postmark NEW YORK N.Y./JUN 15/ 6.30 PM/ 1901. The manuscript message is as follows: "Coomooboolaroo, May 5. (with Apr. 20. 01 lined through) Am this day sending two packets, viz one tin containing nixtoptera (?) and one cigar-box containing lepidoptera which I hope will arrive safely and open satisfactorily. Have put cork at top and bottom to prevent tin jambing. Yours faithfully, Mrs Geo. Barnard. Also 3 packages from C.A.B." The reverse is shown, as well as a clearer example of the Central Railway T.P.O. in Figures 2 & 3.

George Barnard, pound keeper and grazier was born at Chislehurst in England in 1830, and his wife Maria Trafalgar (d.1874), nee Bourne, was also from England and they migrated to Rockhampton. In 1873 the family moved west to ‘Coomooboolaroo’, an unstocked station of some 170 sq. miles (440 sq. km) near Duaringa, Queensland

George built his collection of insect and bird eggs into one of the best in the southern hemisphere; in regard to insects, he specialized in moths, butterflies and beetles. He corresponded extensively with experts in Australia, England, France, India, Chile and Finland, and supplied A. J. North with notes for his Descriptive Catalogue of the Nests and Eggs of Birds Found Breeding in Australia and Tasmania (Sydney, 1889). Maria Barnard was a talented artist who drew and painted specimens while the colours were still fresh. By 1891 the collection had grown so large that George built a private museum at the station. Following George's death in 1894, the collection was acquired by (Baron) Rothschild's private museum at Tring, England, now part of the British Museum (Natural History). George Barnard published an article in The Entomologist, a journal of the Royal Entomological Society of London on the Use of Fruit to Catch Moths.

Many naturalists and zoologists visited Coomooboolaroo. The Norwegian Carl Lumholtz, a guest in 1883, had described the remarkable abilities of George's sons in Among Cannibals (London, 1889). The boys were trained in collection and preservation from an early age; they were also tutored in Aboriginal lore by Blacks who lived on the property; and they excelled at mimicking bird calls. Lumholtz was astonished at their skill on excursions where they went barefoot, unworried by any type of ground. To collect certain insects, they climbed the highest trees by cutting toe-holes with tomahawks. They were able to run and catch flying beetles in their hands. Lumholtz was further impressed by their dexterity with guns, by the quality of their observations and by the extent of their knowledge, much of it derived from expeditions.

George and Maria had 7 children, the oldest son Charles Ashmail Barnard (1867-1942) was a founding member and president of the Royal Australian Ornithologists Union devoted to ornithology (study of birds); Henry Greensill Barnard (1869-1966) was a zoologist, naturalist and grazier; Wilfred Bourne Barnard (1870-1940) was an explorer and collector of bird specimens; a sister Mabel Theodore Barnard specialised in the study of beetles, and a half-brother Ernest, by George’s second wife Sarah Ann Wilkinson was interested in ornithology, and she was the Mrs. Geo. Barnard on the postcard who sent specimens in 1901 to Dr. E.G. Love in New York. George Barnard died on 11 March 1894 in Launceston.

To date information about E.G. Love is fragmentary, with little of a biographical nature. In the May 9, 1897 edition of The New York Times he was quoted as delivering a public lecture at the Natural Historical Museum on the peculiarities of insects, in particular the hollow tongue of butterflies, the compound eye of the water beetle as well as the suction discs on their legs. He showed slides on the digestive system of other insects. In the April 7, 1901 edition of The New York Times, he was one of the scientists lobbying for all New York Scientific Societies to be placed under one roof. Dr. Love was one of 3 members on the publication committee of the Journal of the New York Entomological Society in 1908 and had served as its vice-president. Dr. E.G. Love died on September 12, 1918.

 

I acknowledge that most of the information on George Barnard was derived from the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

 
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