Washington DC: Washington DC, A.O.P. Nicholson, Printer, 1853-59. First printing. Single sheet matted in Neutral Rag Board & backing. A Fine original hand-colored lithograph. Large Octavo (8.5 x 10.75 inches).
Produced for the famed mid-nineteenth century Pacific Railroad Surveys: Reports of Explorations and Surveys to Ascertain the Most Practicable & Economical Route for a Railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.
Funded by the US government, these reports were produced to determine possible routes for transcontinental travel and contained the greatest wealth of topographical and natural history discovery of the Western United States during the nineteenth century.
For the reports a natural history team of botanists, ornithologists and zoologists lead by Lt. WP Trowbridge with Dr. E. Sterling, Dr. JS Newberry, Mr. CD Anderson travelled westward to gather, preserve and document the heretofore undocumented flora, fauna and avifauna of the American West. These illustrations (hand-painted lithographs) of the discoveries were executed under the direct supervision of Smithsonian Curator Spencer F. Baird (1823-1887) and ornithologist John Cassin (Penn. 1813-69) are classified as fine Western Americana. Fine with original hand-coloring. Item #5291
USPRR Exp & Surveys Birds of California
Pl. VIII California Grebe
Podiceps Californicus, Heermann
I observed this grebe on the inland fresh water ponds, as well as on the sea shore, where it was abundant, passing its time on the water in pursuit of insects and small fish.