Portrait of Roxie Laybourne

image for Portrait of Roxie Laybourne
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, the "Feather Lady" with the Department of Birds, National History Museum, is wearing a white sweater with a cowl collar and a brown tweed coat and is seated in front of a red curtain. Her body is angled to the left, and she is looking toward the right.
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
Restrictions & Rights
No restrictions
c. 1990
Standard number
SIA2014-07448
Author
Unknown
Subject
Laybourne, Roxie C. 1910-2003
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Division of Birds
Topic
Portraits
Ornithologists
Ornithology
Women
Smithsonian Institution--Employees
Physical description
Number of Images: 1; Color: Color ; Size: 3.75 x 5h; Type of Image: Portrait; Medium: Photographic print
Smithsonian Archives - History Div
Type
Portraits
Photographic print