S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science




McDowell, Mr Benjamin Francis (shell collection)

Born: Date not known, Place not known.
Died: 5 January 1930, Mutare, Zimbabwe.

Benjamin Francis McDowell resided in Johannesburg around 1897 and for a brief period was a member of the Geological Society of South Africa. In 1905 he became a member of the Rhodesia Scientific Association and later delivered a paper before it entitled "Jottings on a traverse from Tsessebe to Makalahari" (i.e., from Tshesebe, a railway siding north of Francistown, to the Makgadikgadi Pans). The paper was published in the associations Proceedings for 1913-1914.

At some time McDowell was employed in railway construction in Mozambique by the Beira and Mashonaland Railways. He collected the first specimens of a tiny new species of land snail living in the Indian Ocean coastal belt from Zululand to central Mozambique and Malawi. It was named Trachycystis mcdowelli (McDowell's pinwheel) in his honour, by Major M. Connolly* in 1922.


List of sources:
Barnard, K.H. Personal names in South African conchology. Cape Town: Conchological Society of Southern Africa, 1965.

Benjamin Francis McDowell. The London Gazette, 23 October 1931, p. 6837. Retrieved from https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/33765/page/6837/data.pdf on 2018-7-16.

Geological Society of South Africa. Transactions, 1897, Vol. 2, list of members.

Herbert, D. & Kilburn, D. Field guide to the land snails and slugs of eastern South Africa. Natal Museum, 2004.

Rhodesia Scientific Association. Proceedings, 1906, Vol. 6(1), list of members; 1930-1931, Vol. 30, pp. 53-58: List of Proceedings... [1899-1930].


Compiled by: C. Plug


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