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Charles K. Reed

Charles Keller Reed was born in Huntington, Hampshire County, Massachusetts April 20, 1851, the son of Samuel Worcester Reed and Adeline Norton. He married Carrie Bosworth (1852-1942) in 1873, and together they had four children, including Chester Albert Reed (b. 1876 in Worcester). In 1879 he was working as a painter at the Lunatic Hospital in Worcester. Reed acquired his naturalist, hunting, and taxidermy business in the 1880's from Edward Howe Forbush (1858-1929), who went on to become a noted author and Ornithologist to the Massachusetts State Board of Agriculture. In the 1890 Worcester City Directory Reed is listed as a seller of naturalists' supplies and also as a dealer in glass eyes, oval glass wall shades, taxidermy and taxidermist supplies. He later became a taxidermist and dealer in minerals, birds' eggs and skins, shells, books and naturalists' supplies in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Reed advertised ornithological materials in The Museum and The Oologist magazines in 1894, and offered mineral collections for sale in the May, June and July 1895 issues of The Exchangers' Monthly. Beginning in 1901 he also published American Ornithology, "the best illustrated bird magazine ever published." As the 19th century began, he and his son, Chester A. Reed, shifted their emphasis increasingly toward ornithologists and wildflower collectors, and published a series of popular field guides on birds and flowers. By 1933 their bird guides had sold more than 600,000 copies. In 1904 the New York Audubon Society accused him of taking birds or birds' eggs in violation of Massachusetts game laws, and a year later he decided to sell his remaining stock of birds' eggs to Frank H. Lattin (q.v.).

Charles K. Reed died on March 11, 1921. For more information see:

BARROW, m.v. Jr. (2000) The specimen dealer: entrepreneurial natural history in America's Gilded Age. Journal of the History of Biology, 33, 493-534.
MAY, J. B. (1928) Edward Howe Forbush: A biographical sketch. Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History, 39, 33-72.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
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The Mineralogical Record - Charles K. Reed
The Mineralogical Record - Charles K. Reed Charles K. Reed ad in the May 1895 issue of The Mineral Collector.
The Mineralogical Record - Charles K. Reed Charles K. Reed catalog (ca.1890)
The Mineralogical Record - Charles K. Reed
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