To know where modern biological science began, take a look at the incredible and extremely well-preserved collection within Alfred Russel Wallace’s personal cabinet, as showcased in this video by the National Science Foundation:

Discovered by a Washington, D.C., lawyer in search of antique furniture, this is truly a Cabinet of Wonders, for inside is the 1700-specimen personal collection of 19th Century British naturalist, field biologist and contemporary of Charles Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace.

From the Washington Post:

There are butterflies and beetles, moths and shells. There’s a small bird. Flies. Bees. Praying mantises. Tarantulas. Seedpods. A hornet’s nest… “I think it’s a fabulous thing,” said David Grimaldi, curator of invertebrate zoology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. “I think it’s a national treasure, actually.”

Related watching: More about A.R. Wallace, and more scientific specimens.

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