Recent Acquisition: Auzoux bug models

Auzoux bug models

The University Archives recently acquired these models of a silkworm larva and a male and female silkworm moth from Dr. Donald H. Messersmith, professor emeritus in the UMD Department of Entomology. Dr. Messersmith was responsible for their care for many years, and the Archives is delighted to take over preservation of these amazing pieces of laboratory equipment.

Auzoux moth  Auzoux caterpillar

The models were created by the workshop of French anatomist and naturalist Louis Thomas Jérôme Auzoux (1797–1880) and were purchased by the Maryland Agricultural College c.1891 for use in entomology instruction.  Auzoux developed a special papier-mâché technique that allowed him to create anatomically correct models of the human body and zoological and botanical specimens that could be taken apart to reveal their full structure.

Entomology lab, 1900
Students working with the bug models at a table in the Entomology Lab, 1900. Click for a larger image – you can see both the moths and the caterpillar, as well as some kind of beetle!

Right now in the Maryland Room we have a small exhibit featuring these models and several photographs of entomology students using them. Make sure to stop by and check it out!


One thought on “Recent Acquisition: Auzoux bug models

  1. Pingback: Auzoux bug models mini-exhibit | Ex tabulis

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