Tuesday, August 7, 2012

House Sitting Day 2, Part 2 . . . Rafinesque and Moosnick

While in Lexington we were lucky enough to visit a couple of curious attractions at Transylvania University, which is the oldest university west of the Allegheny Mountains and 16th oldest university in the nation.  Thanks to the kind efforts of Dr. Day we were able to visit the tomb of Constantine Samuel Rafinesque . . . the noted nineteenth-century naturalist, linguist, anthropologist, etc.       

Rafinesque was a contemporary of Audubon who apparently named more new species and genera than any other scientist.  Yet, his story is odd in life and death.  For example, he probably is not buried in his tomb . . . the outside of which is shown in the photo above.  The structure to the side of the stairs and behind Dudeboy is the tomb.

Then Dr. Day led us to one of the hidden treasures of our state . . . The Monroe Moosnick Medical and Science Museum.  Apparently, this is one of the best, if not the best, collections for the time period of 1820 to 1850.  It is only open by appointment.      

According to the placard, this "Medical Venus" is one of only five known life size dissectible wax figures created by La Specola of Florence, Italy still in existence.  Dr. Day related a funny story about how he found her in the storage area.

Dr. Day said this is a hairball from a cow (or maybe it was from a buffalo).

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