Platt, Julia B. | Studies on the Primitive Axial Segmentation of the Chick.

  • A rare and important early offprint by one of the first female neuroscientists, with the tipped-in compliments slip of the Alexander Aggasiz, ichthyologist and long-time assistant at the Harvard Museum, which had been founded by his father Louis Aggasiz. WorldCat locates only four institutional copies of this offprint, at the British Library, Bonn, Strasbourg, and Leipzig.

    Julia Platt (1857-1935) was raised and completed her undergraduate education in Vermont. “Following her degree, she managed to acquire an unusually thorough training in experimental embryology through advanced graduate studies in both American and German universities. She was willing to seek out important scientists with whom to study... She published research on embryological segmentation of head segments of chick embryos, amphioxus, and other vertebrates” (Ogilvie, p. 1031).

    Platt travelled to Europe and became only the second woman admitted to the University of Freiberg. She studied at a number of research centres, including the Naples zoological station and the University of Munich, and completed her PhD on embryological segmentation under August Weismann in 1898. Though Platt was unable to obtain an academic position on her return to the United States, her work “proved to be very stimulating and widely discussed, although its challenges to some aspects of the germ layer theories of the time also made it controversial... During her graduate studies, she published a total of twelve papers, many of which are still cited and evaluated today” (Ogilvie, p. 1031).

  • ...With Two Plates. [Offprint from] Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoölogy, at Harvard College. Vol. XVII. No. 4. Cambridge: for the Museum, July 1889.

    20 page offprint, quarto. Original grey wrappers printed in black, hidden staples. 2 folding plates. Shelf number ticket and museum ink stamp to upper wrapper. Vertical crease from folding affecting the wrappers and contents, wrappers rubbed and chipped along the edges, where they are also a little toned. Contents unopened. Very good condition.