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Extra resources for 100 years exploring life, 1888-1988: the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole
He had local friends who encouraged the enterprise and helped to secure the land, including a plot right across the street from the Page 20 Old Fisheries Building with Crane and Candle buildings behind, 1923. Edmund Collection, MBL Archives. Fish Commission building intended for a future research laboratory. As it became clear that the Fish Commission could not do everything by itself, Baird encouraged others to join him with a teaching laboratory in Woods Hole. Baird's friend and Harvard graduate Alpheus Hyatt ran a teacher's school of natural history up the coast in Annisquam.
But what are the red brick buildings? Is there some business or factory here, they ask? Only the business of science. As they move down the street, they may see a sundial on a little plaza near the water. An MBL benefactor, plumbing magnate Charles R. Crane, gave the Yalden sundial, which was designed to keep extremely accurate time-reportedly to within one-half minute throughout the day-for Woods Hole's particular location. A lobster provides the sundial with its local Cape Cod flavor and a scientific twist.
Yet Biology remains the central mission. As a Laboratory, the place also has evolved to embrace a wider range of work centered on biological research. Some of the researchers at the MBL actually use the library as their laboratory, a few even making the mistake of never going outside to explore the variety of life there. Some take the institution as their lab, looking over the shoulders of scientists to investigate the process of doing science. But most still come to the MBL to carry out their laboratory work in biology, experimenting on marine organisms as they have for a full century.