Saturday, August 14, 2010

Letter of the Day: August 14

Curatorial Records: Numbered Correspondence 94

Specimens from Dr. R. B. Bontecou.

August 14, 1894

To the Surgeon General, U.S. Army,
Washington, D.C.


Referring to the letter of Dr. R. B. Bontecou, of Troy, N.Y., dated August 8, 1894, herewith returned, I beg to report that the vials containing the so-called parasites have been received at the Museum, and the specimens have been subjected to careful examination. As I was unable myself to come to any conclusion concerning the nature of the specimens, I referred the matter to Dr. Stiles of the Department of Agriculture. I am to-day in receipt of a letter from Mr. Albert Hassall, of the Bureau of Animal Industry, who informs me that, with the help of Mr. Smith of the Division of Vegetable Pathology, he has determined that the so-called parasites consist of vegetable tissue, and that they are without doubt, seed of some kind. Transverse sections of the specimen show clearly a dicotyledonous arrangement, but owing to their altered condition it is impossible to say what seeds they really are.

Very respectfully,

Walter Reed
Major and Surgeon, U.S. Army.

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