Wortman Assumes Charge

in The Second Jurassic Dinosaur Rush

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780226074726
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226074733 | DOI:
Wortman Assumes Charge

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From the moment they joined forces at Como Bluff in the summer of 1897 there was friction between Jacob L. Wortman and Barnum Brown. As nominal head of the American Museum's Department of Vertebrate Paleontology (DVP) fieldwork, Wortman came to Wyoming expecting to assume control of Brown's dinosaur excavation, despite the latter's priority of discovery. Brown, however, had a different understanding about their respective roles at the dig. His commission to work in the Jurassic beds had come entirely through Osborn—Wortman had played no part in their negotiations. As far as Brown was concerned, he was working directly for the DVP curator, rather than under the field foreman. Meanwhile, Osborn had done nothing proactively to clarify the relationships of his field-workers, possibly because he had not anticipated any trouble.

Keywords: Jacob L. Wortman; Barnum Brown; dinosaur excavation; Como Bluff

Chapter.  8570 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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