Chapter

From Businessman to Sage

Michael J Lannoo

in Leopold's Shack and Ricketts's Lab

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780520264786
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520946064 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520264786.003.0004
From Businessman to Sage

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Edward F. Ricketts sought to parlay his midwestern work ethic and his University of Chicago experiences into a career built on nature. After he left Chicago in 1923, Ricketts and his new family settled on the Monterey Peninsula. The year before, Libbie Hyman, a member of the faculty at the University of Chicago, had studied at the Hopkins Marine Station there, and Joel Hedgpeth speculates that it may have been her accounts of the rich seashore life that prompted Ricketts and Albert E. Galigher to choose the region for their biological supply business. As with any business where customers are distributed, Pacific Biological Laboratories needed a catalog, and Ricketts assembled one. He became friends with John Steinbeck, with whom he shared his ideas on biology, ecology, and philosophy, as well as any other topics that arose. The story of Ricketts's maturation intertwines and tangles with those of Steinbeck and Joseph Campbell. Xenia Cage, the wife of the avant-garde composer John Cage, was an important link among members of Ricketts's Lab.

Keywords: Edward F. Ricketts; Monterey Peninsula; Hopkins Marine Station; Albert E. Galigher; biological supply business; Pacific Biological Laboratories; John Steinbeck; ecology; Joseph Campbell; Xenia Cage

Chapter.  3085 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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