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Thorn, Charles W. (1906-1962)

General technician at the South African Museum who collected thousands of insects, mainly in the karoo. Many of the specimens with "South African Museum Expedition" on the label, were collected by him.

Hesse (A century and a half of entomology at the South African Museum): "Charlie Thorn ... was appointed in 1922 as an Assistant in the [S.A. Museum] Herbarium, but eventually became a general technical assistant, a preparator of the Museum's travelling school cases and finally an assistant in charge of general up-keep. Having had a thorough training as a scout and as a sailor in the Royal Navy he was a disciplinarian, with an almost abnormal sense of duty which he applied to every operation he performed. This he also applied to collecting whether he always liked it or not. His assiduous application and his efficiency in this direction made him one of the best collectors of plants, insects, Arachnids, and lizards the Museum has had. On account of this reliability and efficiency as a good all round collector, he accompanied most of the Museum's great collecting expeditions. Of the many thousands of accessions acquired during these trips and expeditions, and comprehensively labelled as "South African Museum Expedition" a very high percentage were caught by Charlie Thorn".

Biography: G&C p. 347.

Text by Hamish G. Robertson  


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