Mollusks

Notables: H.H. Smith

H.H. Smith served as the first curator of Invertebrate Zoology at Carnegie Museum of Natural History. He was employed on what we would now consider a "consultant" basis, and was instrumental in acquiring the beginnings of the Mollusks collection. Smith was born in Manlius, NY, in 1851. He graduated from Cornell University. He became curator in 1895 and retired from that position, due to ill health, in 1903. He moved south to Alabama where he became Curator of the Alabama State Museum. He passed away in 1919.

Carnegie Museum's molluscan collection had its beginning with the 3,000 species collected by Smith, in addition to other specimens purchased from F.R. Holland and donated by George Clapp. Despite being at Carnegie Museum of Natural History for only 8 years, Smith set the stage for others who were to follow.

Smith made several trips to Brazil 1870–1886 and collected mollusks and other natural history specimens. Smith also took trips to the West Indies, Mexico, and Columbia, further pursuing his interests in natural history. When Smith retired to Alabama, he undertook extensive field trips throughout the state collecting freshwater and terrestrial mollusks. Despite collecting all manner of specimens, Smith's particular interests were the Unionidae and Pleuroceridae of the southeastern United States. Arnold Ortmann succeeded Smith as curator.