So many lines of my research have been pointing to the same man - so I thought it was about time to find something out about the man.
Between 1927 and 1938 Schultz had a small primate colony of his own populated by six chimpanzees (counting offspring) and an orang. These animals were kept in improvised quarters in a former stable behind the anatomy building. As a medical student at Hopkins in this period, I remember well the vocal and mechanical din created by these caged animals. The colony came to an end when the strength of the largest male chimpanzee-named “Dayton” by Schultz after the antievolution trial in Dayton, Tennessee-made it impossible to keep him confined to quarters.
Besides observing the living nonhuman primates around him, Schultz was always seeking the remains of those dying in captivity. Animal dealers, directors of zoos, and owners of circuses responded generously, but their shipments of dead animals occasionally led to amusing incidents. For example, there is the tale of the zealous prohibition agents in Washington’s Union Station, who, after apprehending a zoo attendant bound for Baltimore, were abashed to find that the bag he was carrying, when opened in the midst of a crowd, contained a dead monkey and not the suspected liquid contraband. Other tales concern phone calls to Schultz at inconvenient hours from irate clerks in the office of the express cornpany demanding that he come at once and claim stinking packages. The odor was so bad sometimes, it is said, that he was forced to expose and examine these specimens on the fire escape of the anatomy building.
Of course, not all of the shipments were in such wretched condition. Among the most notable acquisitions were the huge gorillas “Congo” and “Gargantua.” The latter gained for Schultz considerable publicity because Lije magazine (December 5, 1949) published a large picture of him, caliper in hand, bending over the corpse stretched out on an embalming table.
The Anatomy Department at Hopkins provided few assistants for the staff. This mattered little to Schultz, because he was quite capable of dealing with his specimens once they were skeletonized; and this he often did, even to the point of numbering the bones and constructing the boxes to house them. He also measured the bones, wrote his manuscripts in longhand, and illustrated them with masterly pen-and-ink drawings. All this he carried out in a single large room with two windows on one side and storage shelves going to the ceiling on the other three sides. Considering that he expended so much of his time getting his data assembled and analyzed, it is remarkable that he published as much as he did.
Man after my own heart. (Well, once you consider the major paradigm shift in the philosophical and methodological bases of anthropology into account - ie, no more “collecting” specimens with a shotgun.)
Schultz’s early intensive efforts to report the growth and development of particular primates, primarily through measurements, gradually became interspersed with efforts to provide interpretive summaries. A few titles will suggest the points he wished to emphasize: “Man as a Primate” (1931), “Characters Common to Higher Primates and Characters Specific for Man” (1936), “Variability in Man and Other Primates7’ (1947), “The Physical Distinctions of Man” (1950). These general articles, perhaps more than the others, left enduring impressions on the thinking of primatologists.
In the late 1940s a new trend in the field of anatomy, known as “histochemistry,” arrived in force at Hopkins as a new head of the department took over. Schultz could find no indication in this change that the encouragement and support he had always received would continue, so in 1951, when he reached the age of sixty, he retired and went back to Zurich, taking with him his primate collection.
“I’m going home and I’m taking my bones with me.” Gotta love the man.
[H]is central aim from the outset of his career was to acquire as much data on the physiques of as many different kinds of primates as possible for the purpose of drawing therefrom broad generalizations and sound taxonomic conclusions. Eventually he had access to larger samples of many more different species of nonhuman primates than anyone before him. And everything he learned from his studies of these specimens seemingly ended up in publications. When asked, late in life, to state briefly for a biographical dictionary (World Who’s Who in Science, 1st ed., 1968) his main accomplishments, he listed the following:
“Established correlations and differentiations between development in man and other primates; demonstrated [that] close similarity of man and apes early in life … diminishes through differing growth rate [s]; noted [as] human specializations [the] longest postnatal growth period and life span, latest beginning and ending of fertility [p. 15041.]”
Had he been offered space in which to list more of his accomplishments, quite likely he would have included his revelation of a host of facts regarding the relative variability of the different primate species, by sex and during growth. Among other things, this showed that, contrary to prevailing opinion, the great apes are more variable than man and most Old World monkeys.
On these grounds he cautioned human paleontologists against attributing too much significance to single hominid fossil finds. His observations led him also to take a conservative view of the established classification of the primates and in this regard to resist some of the radical ideas put forth by those using newer biochemical approaches.
A conscientious, innovative, and energetic worker, employing the basic techniques of physical anthropology, he played a major role in developing the young science of primatology into an important part of modern biology. Beyond doubt his many and varied contributions to this field made him one of the world’s leading primatologists.
from: Stewart, T. Dale. (1983) Adolph Hans Schultz: A Biographical Memoir. National Academy of Sciences.
Now, if only I could find any pdfs of his articles that aren’t just scans of photocopies of ancient papers…