ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
John Edward Gray (1800-1875), English naturalist. Gray was born In Wallsall, the son of a chemist. In his early years Gray was a sickly child and so was tutored at home. When his family moved to London in 1818 Grey was apprenticed to a chemist in order to prepare for medical school. During his medical studies he became interested in botany, in 1821 publishing the 'Natural Arrangement of British Plants'. However, after being snubbed by the Linnean Society, he changed track again and concentrated on zoology. In 1840 he joined the zoological department of the British Museum as keeper, with the responsibility for enlarging and cataloguing the collection. He resigned thirty years later following paralysis of his right side. In his professional life he authored over 1100 papers, articles and books. Here he is photographed with some typical specimen jars.
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