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New Meetup: The Forgotten Aquariums -- Boston Aquarial Gardens @ New England Aquarium

From: T.J. M.
Sent on: Monday, May 4, 2009 12:47 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for Nerd Fun - Boston!

What: The Forgotten Aquariums -- Boston Aquarial Gardens @ New England Aquarium

When: June 16,[masked]:00 PM

Where: Click the link below to find out!

Meetup Description: From the New England Aquarium site:

Speakers: Jerry Ryan & Scott Dowd

"The Forgotten Aquariums of Boston
"2009 marks the 150th anniversary of the Boston Aquarial Gardens?the first institution in the world exclusively dedicated to exhibiting marine life. The Boston Aquarial Gardens created innovations and refined techniques that shaped future aquariums to this day. The short, turbulent and ultimately tragic history of this early aquarium includes core questions that continue to be relevant. Jerry Ryan is the author of The Forgotten Aquariums of Boston, the first (and only) book on the Aquarial Gardens".

Register Online:

Where to meet:

T.J. Maher will be waiting outside the Harborside Learning Laboratory starting at 6:20 pm. We can go in to grab seats at 6:40 pm.
According to the site "We will hold a seat for you until 20 minutes before the program begins. The program will be in the Aquarium's Harborside Learning Lab near the main Aquarium building". T.J. Maher is 5 foot 7, with short brown hair spiked in front, bright blue eyes, with a "Hello My Name is T.J". nametag and a red MEETUP sign attached to his black messenger bag. If you wish, we can go to Legal Seafoods after. First we learn about fish, then we eat them! ;)

The Harborside Learning Lab is the Ocean Center, the building next to the Simons IMAX building, on the opposite side of the main building.

About the Aquarium Lecture Series:

"The Aquarium has been providing free lectures and films by scientists, environmental writers, photographers and others since 1972. The Aquarium Lecture Series is presented free to the public through the generosity of the Lowell Institute, which has been providing funding for free public lectures at universities and museums since 1836.

"Lectures are free and open to the public. Registration is requested. All programs start at 7 p.m. in the Aquarium's Harborside Learning Lab, unless otherwise noted below. Programs last approximately one hour followed by a reception.

"The Aquarium Lecture Series is free and open to the public. Previous Aquarium Lectures are available on-line through the WGBH Forum Network.

About the book, "Forgotten Aquariums of Boston":

"Finley Aquatic Books, in cooperation with The New England Aquarium, is pleased to announce the publication of Jerry Ryan's "The Forgotten Aquariums Of Boston, 2nd Revised Edition" (2002, 96 pages, softcover, 9 in. x 6 in.).

"The first edition of this book was released in a very limited printing and sold out quickly. Now a greatly expanded second edition is available.

"This well researched volume traces the history of public aquaria in 19th and early 20th century Boston beginning with the 1859 opening of the Boston 'Aquarial Gardens' which was the world's first fully dedicated (not connected with any other organization) public aquarium. The book is charactered with the involved parties including James A. Cutting, Henry D. Butler, P. T. Barnum and Louis Mowbray".

What were the Aquarial Gardens?

Kim Nusco, Massachusetts Historical Society --
"After observing aquarial exhibitions during his travels in England in the 1850s, famed showman Phineas T. Barnum devised plans to offer similar entertainments in the United States. Barnum's American Museum in New York featured aquarial exhibits as early as 1856, and in 1859, Henry D. Butler, one of Barnum's partners in the museum, joined with Boston inventor and aquarist James Ambrose Cutting to open the Boston Aquarial Gardens on Bromfield Street. The first recorded aquarium that was not part of a larger institution, the Boston Aquarial Gardens aimed to educate and entertain the public with displays of exotic marine life.

"In October 1860, the renamed and expanded Boston Aquarial and Zoological Gardens moved to Central Court, off Washington Street. A great central tank, twenty-five feet in diameter, ringed by fifty-six smaller tanks, dominated the street level of the hall, while the zoological department occupied the lower level. Typical Barnum fare, including performing elephants, trained bears, fortune-tellers, and the white beluga whale described by Sally Putnam soon joined the educational exhibits of marine animals".

More information is on the site.

Learn more here:

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