Sunday, March 29, 2015


Herbarium:  A collection of preserved plant specimens.  These may be whole plants or part plants: these will usually be in a dried form mounted on a sheet but, depending upon the material, may also be kept in alcohol or other preservative.  (Wikipedia)

Looks like my grandfather, Sigmund Levy, had his very own Herbarium!

The Kenilworth Herbarium and Plant Analysis, copyrighted in January,1899, was a series of blank forms (11x14 inches) on one side of which the plant was mounted and classified, and upon the other side an outline was given for a complete and systematic analysis of the plant, with space for drawings of important parts.

When I opened up the book, I found this written on the inside front cover.

Looks like it might have been a hobby or even a school project for Sig.

The book gives a pretty nice order of description for the owner to follow – and it looks like Sig followed the instructions perfectly!

Here’s the page that faced this with the actual plant still mounted into the book.

Based on the date of March 20, 1903, Sig would have been just shy of his 15th birthday.  I can't get over the perfect handwriting - I have quite a few things of Sig's with his handwriting and it is never this perfect.

photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Here’s another interesting page.

Cemetery?  Sig, WHICH CEMETERY?  What were you doing there?  Just collecting plants or visiting a relative?  So many questions!

Delphinium Photo
photo courtesy of Wikipedia

So it looks like Sig was a packrat in his own right.and I can completely understand where my dad got his packrat tendencies.  Note to self:  don’t follow too closely in my ancestor’s footsteps.

I can’t believe this book is 112 years old.  Thanks for leaving it for me, Sig!


  1. I can't see a 15-yr old boy today collecting flowers and looking up their class, order, genus, and species. What sweet little book. Did he fill in the whole book or quickly grow tired? If this was a science project, it's a very fancy book. When I was in high school, we had a leaf project to collect and identify leaves from trees; we also had a bug project - I had to get a friend to pin my bugs to the styrofoam because I couldn't stand to touch them. I would have preferred a flower project.

    1. Every page is filled out just like the above examples. Of course, pages could be added or deleted easily so he could have just thrown the blank ones out. I remember collecting butterflies with the neighbors and mounting them like you describe - I didn't want to touch them, either!

  2. Debi, that's a wonderful memento of your grandfather & a great way to learn more about him than just a name & dates.