Timothy Abbott Conrad

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Timothy Abbott Conrad
PSM V47 D154 Timothy Abbott Conrad.jpg
Born(1803-06-21)June 21, 1803
DiedAugust 9, 1877(1877-08-09) (aged 74)
Trenton, New Jersey
Known forTertiary and Cretaceous shells; mollusks; Monography of the Family Unionidae
Awards American Philosophical Society
Scientific career
  • geology
  • malacology
Author abbrev. (zoology) Conrad

Timothy Abbott Conrad [1] (June 21, 1803 in Trenton, New Jersey – August 9, 1877 in Trenton) [2] was an American geologist and malacologist.



He was from early life an investigator of American paleontology and natural history, devoting himself to the study of the shells of the Tertiary and Cretaceous formations, and to existing species of mollusks. In 1831 he began the issue of a work on “American Marine Conchology,” and the year following published the first number of his “Fossil Shells of the Tertiary Formation,” which was never completed. A “Monography of the Family Unionidae” was issued between 1835 and 1847. The lithographed plates in his publications were in part his own work. He contributed many articles to the American Journal of Science and the Journal of the Philadelphia Academy of Science. [3]

Drawing of Leptoxis plicata by Conrad Leptoxis plicata shell 3.jpg
Drawing of Leptoxis plicata by Conrad

As one of the New York state geologists he prepared the geological report for 1837. He was paleontologist of the New York Geological Survey from 1838 until 1841, and wrote the annual reports in that department. He also made the reports of paleontological discoveries in the Pacific Railroad Survey and the Mexican Boundary Survey. [3]

He defended the theory of periodical refrigeration, and suggested that the Mississippi depression was the consequence of the upheaval of the Appalachians and the later elevation of the area of the Rocky Mountains. A list of his scientific papers is given in the catalogue of the Royal Society of England. [3] The American Philosophical Society elected Conrad to Membership in 1865 for his contributions to science. [4]

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  1. Sources differ as to whether his name was Timothy Abbott Conrad or Timothy Conrad Abbott (see List of people from Trenton, New Jersey).
  2. Anonymous (1897). "Timothy Abbott Conrad". The Nautilus . 10 (10): 110–112.
  3. 1 2 3 One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain :  Wilson, J. G.; Fiske, J., eds. (1900). "Conrad, Timothy Abbott"  . Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography . New York: D. Appleton.
  4. "Timothy Conrad". American Philosophical Society Members History Database. American Philosophical Society. Retrieved 4 December 2020.