S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Griffin, Mr Louis Thomas (zoological collection, taxidermy)

Born: Date not known, United Kingdom.
Died: 1935, New Zealand.

Louis T. Griffin was appointed as taxidermist at the South African Museum, Cape Town, on 1 December 1896. The museum's director, W.L. Sclater* had made various attempts to recruit a taxidermist in London during 1896 and eventually his father, P.L. Sclater*, who was secretary of the Zoological Society of London, found Griffin for him. In 1897 Griffin collected arachnids in the vicinity of Cape Town for the museum. He also went on shooting trips and in the museum's annual report for 1899 is mentioned as having contributed mammals and birds to the collections. According to Summers (1975) he left Cape Town in 1901 to go to Australia, but in fact he was appointed to the staff of the Transvaal Museum in Pretoria as taxidermist on 1 September that year, and soon served also as chief caretaker of its zoological gardens. In July 1905 he collected some mammals in the Orange River Colony (now the Free State).

Griffin went to Europe on sick leave in May 1906, but returned well and left the Transvaal Museum later that year. At this time his position was that of first taxidermist, with F.O. Noome* as second taxidermist. He applied for employment in the Orange River Colony in 1907 and the next year was again considered for employment in the Transvaal Colony. However, in 1908 he moved to New Zealand where he was appointed as a preparator in the Auckland Museum. There he developed into an ichthyologist of note, publishing six papers on the fishes of New Zealand between 1921 and 1936. At the time of his death in 1935 he was assistant director of the Auckland Museum.

List of sources:
Cape of Good Hope. Report of the trustees of the South African Museum, 1896-1899.

Dippenaar, N.J. (ed.) Staatsmuseum 100. Pretoria: National Cultural History Museum, etc., 1992.

Google scholar. http://scholar.google.co.za Publications by L.T. Griffin.

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS). http://www.national.archives.gov.za/naairs.htm Documents relating to Griffin, Louis T./Griffin, L.T.

Robertson, H. Biodiversity explorers. http://www.biodiversityexplorer.org/people

Summers, R.F.H. A history of the South African Museum, 1825-1975. Cape Town: Balkema, 1975.

Transvaal [Colony]. Transvaal Administration Reports for 1902, pp. I.1-3: Pretoria Museum and Zoological Gardens.

Transvaal [Colony], Colonial Secretary's Department. Annual Report, 1903/4, pp. H1-H2.

Transvaal civil service list, 1906.

Transvaal Museum. Annual report, 1905/6

Watkins, M. and Beolens, B. Sharks: An eponym dictionary. Exeter: Pelagic Puglishing, 2015.

Compiled by: C. Plug