Roxie Laybourne Examining a Dented Aircraft Nose Cone

image for Roxie Laybourne Examining a Dented Aircraft Nose Cone
Category
Historic Images of the Smithsonian
With Smithsonian Secretary Alexander Wetmore's encouragement, Laybourne accepted a short-term appointment in 1944 in the Bird Division at the National Museum of Natural History, working with taxidermist Watson Perrygo and curator Herbert Friedmann. Known as the "Feather Lady," Laybourne pioneered the field of forensic ornithology at the Smithsonian Institution by studying the detailed microscopic structure of plumaceous (downy) feather barbules and creating a technique of identifying species of birds from fragmentary feather samples. Her methods revolutionized aviation safety by creating a technique of identifying birds involved in aircraft bird strikes. That work led to the development of the first laboratory in the world dedicated solely to feather identification. The methods she developed are now routinely applied to studies of prey remains, evidence from criminal cases, and anthropological artifacts.
For more images of Roxie Laybourne, see SIA2009-2205, SIA2010-0575, SIA2010-0580, SIA2010-0639, SIA2014-07398, SIA2014-07403, SIA2014-07404, SIA2014-07405, SIA2014-07406, SIA2014-07407, SIA2014-07411, SIA2014-07413, SIA2014-07417, SIA2014-07421, SIA2014-07431, SIA2014-07434, SIA2014-07441, SIA2014-07442, and SIA2014-07448.
Summary
Roxie Laybourne was an American ornithologist known for her ability to identify species of birds involved in bird strikes. In the Bird Division at National Museum of Natural History, she is standing and grinning at the camera at a counter holding a dented red and white aircraft nose cone.
Contained within
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 04-086, Box 2, Folder: 5
Contact information
Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu
Topic
Biology
Forensic sciences
Birds--Behavior
Women
Airports--Bird control
Aeronautics--Safety measures
Feathers
Aircraft bird strikes
Aeronautics
Smithsonian Institution--Employees
Forensic scientists
Airplanes
Ornithologists
Ornithology
Aircraft accidents--Investigation
Smithsonian Archives - History Div
Restrictions & Rights
No restrictions
Author
Unknown
Subject
Laybourne, Roxie C. 1910-2003
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Division of Birds
Physical description
Number of Images: 1; Color: Color; Size: 5w x 3h; Type of Image: Person, candid; Medium: Photographic print
c. 1980s
Place
United States
Type
Classification
Photographic print
Person, candid
Standard number
SIA2014-07406