Francis Hobart Herrick (b.1858)
The American Lobster: A Study of its habits and development. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1895. 4 bound in 8s (280 x 198mm.) 65 plates (including 10 chromolithographs), one folding letterpress table. Later cloth-backed boards, original upper wrapper bound in. Provenance: Dr. Arthur W.Weyse (bookplate).
First separately-published edition of this fascinating account of the Lobster, including some fine chromolithographs drawn from life by the author. The work was first published in the Bulletin of the U.S. Fish Commission for 1895, but is here printed for the first time as a distinct work. Herrick describes the motives which encouraged him to publish the work "The lobster, though it may be rightfully called the King of the Crustacea in consideration of both its size and strength, its abundance and economic value, had, until recently, been singularly neglected by naturalists. Even its breeding habits were not understood, and so little was our knowledge of many phases of its general biology that I determined from the first to devote ample time to this important subject" (Introduction p.6). The author ends his introduction with a plea that strikes a cord today: suggesting that care should be taken of the lobster stocks and their traditional spawning grounds (Canada recorded a catch of 90,000,000 lobsters in 1886), and pointing out that the ocean is not an inexhausible resource. Nissen ZBI 1921.