BRENINGER, George Frank

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BRENINGER, George Frank (1865-1905), mineralogist, oologist, expert taxidermist, associate of the American Ornithologists’ Union, and contributor to Auk, Condor, Osprey and other ornithological publications. He collected widely in Arizona, Mexico and California, and was employed by the Field Museum of Chicago, presumably by Charles Cory, Curator of Birds, as a collector and taxidermist.

The Breningers moved to Arizona in 1897 and settled in what is now Avondale. At that time, however, it was called Coldwater.

George Frank Breninger = Margaret J. Hoag (1866-1930):

  • David Addison Breninger (1889-1934) = Vera (c. 1897- )
  • Walter F. Breninger (1892-1915)
  • May L. Breninger (1895-1909)
  • Luella Ruth Breninger (1899-1903)

Breninger collected two sets of Bald Eagle eggs (2 eggs in each set) on San Clemente Island on February 16 and 18, 1903 [FMNH 15785; 481]. He also collected the male and female eagles [FMNH 14208; 14209].

Breninger died unexpectedly in Phoenix, Arizona on December 3, 1905 after a prolonged illness and series of three strokes related to his taxidermy work. As reported in Condor: “The cause of his death was paralysis, which resulted directly from arsenic poisoning incurred while preparing specimens.” Breninger was 40 years old.


Breninger collected on:

  • San Clemente Island (1903)


» Breninger, George F. San Clemente Island and Its Birds in Auk 21(2): 218-223 April-June 1904.

http://biostor.org/reference/124839



Island Collections~
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
San Clemente Island G. F. Breninger FMNH February 16, 1903 FMNH-14208 Haliaeetus leucocephalus Birds
San Clemente Island G. F. Breninger FMNH February 16, 1903 FMNH-14209 Haliaeetus leucocephalus Birds
San Clemente Island G. F. Breninger FMNH February 16, 1903 FMNH-15785 Haliaeetus leucocephalus Eggs
San Clemente Island G. F. Breninger FMNH February 17, 1903 FMNH-482 Carpodacus mexicanus clementis Eggs
San Clemente Island G. F. Breninger FMNH February 17, 1903 FMNH-483 Carpodacus mexicanus clementis Eggs
San Clemente Island G. F. Breninger UMMZ February 17, 1903 UMMZ-72912 Carpodacus mexicanus clementis Birds
San Clemente Island G. F. Breninger FMNH February 18, 1903 FMNH-481 Haliaeetus leucocephalus Eggs




In the News~

December 4, 1905 [Arizona Republic]: “George F. Breninger died yesterday afternoon at his home on North Sixth Avenue after an extended period of poor health and a final acute illness of sometime. His death was due to paralysis induced by arsenic poisoning that resulted from his years of work in the business of taxidermy. He suffered three strokes somewhat widely separated but was not in the best of health for some years past. The dean man was a most estimable gentleman, honored and respected by all who knew him. The family has resided in Phoenix for several years and is well known. He is survived by Mrs. Breninger and three children. The funeral will be held this afternoon at the parlors of Merryman and Moore at 2:30 o'clock and will be conducted by the readers of the Christian Science Church. Mr. Breninger was widely known as an expert taxidermist and was enthusiastic in his chosen line of scientific investigation for he not only made many rare collections of birds and animals and loved to study them, to read and write about them. During his career he had traveled widely over the American continent and was an authority on the fauna of the Rocky Mountain region even as far south as the Isthmus, having traveled in Mexico and Central America. He had done much work for the government as represented by the Smithsonian Institution and also for the Field Museum. He has made and disposed of many valuable collections and at the time of his death was possessed of an unusually good one. Last winter he conducted a museum on West Adams Street where a portion of his collection was exhibited.”


“George F. Breninger, widely known as a collector and taxidermist, died Dec. 3, 1905, at Phoenix, Arizona. The cause of his death was paralysis which resulted directly from arsenic poisoning incurred while preparing specimens. We have been informed by Mrs. Breninger that his library and collections are for sale.” [Condor Vol. 8, p. 60]