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To the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution:

GENTLEMEN: I have the honor to submit herewith the annual report on the operations of the Smithsonian Institution and its branches during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1915, including work placed by Congress under the direction of the Board of Regents in the United States National Museum, the Bureau of American Ethnology, the International Exchanges, the National Zoological Park, the Astrophysical Observatory, and the United States Bureau of the International Catalogue of Scientific Literature.

The general report reviews the affairs of the Institution proper and briefly summarizes the operations of its several branches, while the appendices contain detailed reports by the assistant secretary and others directly in charge of various activities. The reports on operations of the National Museum and the Bureau of American Ethnology will also be published as independent volumes.



The Smithsonian Institution was created an establishment by act of Congress approved August 10, 1846. Its statutory members are the President of the United States, the Vice President, the Chief Justice, and the heads of the executive departments.


The Board of Regents consists of the Vice President and the Chief Justice of the United States as ex officio members, three Members of the Senate, three Members of the House of Representatives, and six citizens, “two of whom shall be resident in the city of Washington and the other four shall be inhabitants of some State, but no two of them of the same State."

In regard to the personnel of the board there were no changes during the fiscal year. The roll of Regents on June 30 was as follows: Edward D. White, Chief Justice of the United States, Chancellor; Thomas R. Marshall, Vice President of the United States; Henry Cabot Lodge, Member of the Senate; Henry French Hollis, Member of the Senate; William J. Stone, Member of the Senate; Scott Ferris, Member of the House of Representatives; Ernest W. Roberts, Member of the House of Representatives; Maurice Connolly, former Member of the House of Representatives; Andrew D. White, citizen of New York; Alexander Graham Bell, citizen of Washington, D. C.; George Gray, citizen of Delaware; Charles F. Choate, jr., citizen of Massachusetts; John B. Henderson, jr., citizen of Washington, D. C.; and Charles W. Fairbanks, citizen of Indiana.

The board held its annual meeting on December 10, 1914. The Hon. George Gray was on that date elected chairman of the executive committee to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Senator Bacon on February 14, 1914. The proceedings of the above meeting, as also the annual financial report of the executive committee, have been printed, as usual, for the use of the Regents, while such important matters acted upon as are of public interest are reviewed under appropriate heads in the present report of the Secretary. A detailed statement of disbursements from Government appropriations, under the direction of the Institution for the maintenance of the National Museum, the National Zoological Park, and other branches, will be submitted to Congress by the Secretary in the usual manner in compliance with the law.


The permanent fund of the Institution and the sources from which it was derived are as follows:

Deposited in the Treasury of the United States.

Bequest of James Smithson, 1846_
Residuary legacy of James Smithson, 1807-
Deposit of savings of income, 1867-
Bequest of James Hamilton, 1875_
Accumulated interest on Hamilton fund, 1895..

$515, 169.00

26, 210. 63 108, 620. 37


Bequest of Simeon Habel, 1880_
Deposits from proceeds of sale of bonds, 1881.
Gift of Thomas G. Hodgkins, 1891.
Part of residuary legacy of Thomas G. Hodgkins, 1894..
Deposit from savings of income, 1903.
Residuary legacy of Thomas G. Hodgkins, 1907-
Deposit from savings of income, 1913_-
Part of bequest of William Jones Rhees, 1913..
Deposit of proceeds from sale of real estate (gift of Robert

Stanton Avery), 1913--
Bequest of Addison T. Reid, 1914.--
Deposit of savings from income Avery bequest, 1914_


500.00 51, 500.00 200, 000.00

8,000.00 25, 000.00 7, 918. 69

636.94 251. 95

9, 692. 42 4, 795. 91

204. 09

$1, 862. 60

426. 04

Deposit of savings from income Avery fund, 1915_
Deposit of savings from income Reid fund, 1915_-
Deposit of balance of principal $248.05 and income $28.39 Rhees

fund, 1915
Deposit of first payment of Lucy T. and George W. Poore

fund, 1915.

276. 44

24, 534.92

Total of fund deposited in the United States Treasury

987, 600.00

Other resources.

Registered and guaranteed bonds of the West Shore Railroad

Co., part of legacy of Thomas G. Hodgkins (par value).

42, 000.00

Total permanent fund

1, 029, 600.00

The first installment to the Lucy T. and George W. Poore fund, amounting to $24,534.92, was received in March, 1915, and was immediately deposited in the United States Treasury to the credit of the permanent fund. Other deposits to this fund during the year were from the income of several funds amounting to $2,565.08, or a grand total of $27,100, making a total now deposited in the Treasury to the credit of the permanent fund of $987,600.

That part of the fund deposited in the Treasury of the United States bears interest at 6 per cent per annum, under the provisions of the act organizing the Institution and an act of Congress approved March 12, 1894. The rate of interest on the West Shore Railroad bonds is 4 per cent per annum.

The income of the Institution during the year, amounting to $112,035.90, was derived as follows: Interest on the permanent foundation, $59,310; contributions from various sources for specific purposes, $12,000; first installment of a bequest known as the Lucy T. and George W. Poore fund, amounting to $24,534.92; the original bequest designated as the George H. Sanford fund of $1,020; the balance of the William Jones Rhees fund, amounting to $248.05; and from other miscellaneous sources, $14,922.93; all of which was deposited in the Treasury of the United States.

With the balance of $30,560.13 on July 1, 1914, the total resources for the fiscal year amounted to $142,596.03. The disbursements, which are given in detail in the annual report of the executive committee, amounted to $100,430.17, leaving a balance of $42,165.86 on deposit June 30, 1915, in the United States Treasury and in cash.

The Institution was charged by Congress with the disbursement of the following appropriations for the year ending June 30, 1915:

International Exchanges
American Ethnology --
Astrophysical Observatory-

$32, 000 42, 000 13, 000

National Museum :

Furniture and fixtures_
Heating and lighting---
Preservation of collections.
Books -

Building repairs.
Bookstacks for Government bureau libraries.
National Zoological Park.----
International Catalogue of Scientific Literature
Tower telescope, Astrophysical Observatory, Mount Wilson, Cal.
Repairs, Smithsonian Building-

$25, 000

46, 000 300,000 2,000

500 10,000 10,000 100, 000

7,500 2, 000 16, 000


606, 000

In addition to the above specific amounts to be disbursed by the Institution there was included under the general appropriation for public printing and binding an allotment of $76,200, to cover the cost of printing and binding the annual report and other Government publications issued by the Institution, and to be disbursed by the Public Printer.


The “increase of knowledge” is one of the fundamental objects of the Smithsonian Institution, and toward the accomplishment of that object it has inaugurated and maintained or has participated in astronomical, anthropological, biological, and geological explorations in every portion of the world, resulting in greatly increasing our knowledge of the meteorology, the geography, the fauna and flora, and the ethnology of all lands, and in the acquisition of large amount of valuable material for the National Museum. The Institution has likewise, through special grants, aided laboratory researches in practically every line of natural science. The extent of these explorations and researches during the last 60 years covers a wide range, although a great deal more of most important work could have been accomplished had adequate funds been available. Friends of the Institution have many times, and particularly during the last few years, generously aided the work through the contribution of funds for specific purposes, but much yet remains undone, and opportunities for undertaking important lines of investigation are constantly being lost through lack of means to carry them into execution.

I will here allude only briefly to some of the activities of the Institution in these directions during the year and for details of other investigations may refer to the appendices containing the reports of those directly in charge of the several branches of the Institution.


In continuation of my previous geological researches in the Rocky Mountains of Canada and Montana I spent a week during the field season of 1914 at Glacier, British Columbia, where I assisted Mrs. Walcott (née Mary M. Vaux) in measuring the flow of the Illecillewaet and Asulkan Glaciers.

From Glacier we proceeded to White Sulphur Springs, Mont., for the purpose of studying the ancient sedimentary pre-Paleozoic rocks of the Big Belt Mountains. These explorations were made on the eastern and southern slopes of this range, and then extended to the south on the Gallatin, Madison, and Jefferson Rivers.

It was found that the pre-Paleozoic sedimentary rocks were exposed by the uplift of the granite mass forming the summit of Mount Edith of the Big Belt Mountains in such a way that the thickness of the sandstones, limestones, and shales could be readily measured in the numerous sections exposed in the canyons worn by waters descending from the higher points to the valley surrounding the range. Nearly 5 miles in thickness of rock were measured, and in the limestone belts reefs of fossil algal remains were studied and large collections made with the assistance of Mrs. Walcott and Charles E. Resser and sent on to Washington.

It was found that the algal remains were deposited very much in the same manner as those that are now being deposited in many fresh-water lakes, and that many of the forms had a surprising similarity to those being deposited in the thermal springs and pools of the Yellowstone National Park.

In the lower portion of Deep Creek Canyon, southeast of the city of Helena, a deposit of siliceous shale was examined where some years ago I had discovered the remains of crablike animals suggesting in form the fresh-water crayfishes found in the streams and ponds all over the world. These fossils are the oldest animal remains now known, and the algal deposits which occur at intervals for several thousand feet below the shales containing the crustaceans are the oldest authentic vegetable remains. It is also most interesting that two types of bacteria have been found in a fossil state in the rock in association with the algal remains.

On the north side of the Gallatin River two very rich beds of algal remains were found, many of which, on account of the fossil being silicified and embedded in a softer limestone, were weathered out in relief.

For the season of 1915 I have planned some investigations in the Yellowstone Park in order to be able to better interpret the fossil algal remains found in and about the Big Belt Mountains.

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