Frederick Orpen Bower

The Bower Building

On the same day Thoreau was recording his autumnal observations, the English botanist Frederick Orpen Bower was born (in 1855).

Bower became the Regius chair of botany at the University of Glasgow. When he arrived, the department consisted of two rooms and a small attic space for the herbarium. When Bower lectured, he had to vie for a lecture hall with other departments and faculty.
In 1901, the University completed a new botany building, which was technically Britain's first botanical institute. As part of the University's 450th-anniversary celebration, Sir Joseph Hooker opened the building. It was renamed in the 1990s to honor Bower and became known as the Bower Building.
On October 24, 2001, the Bower building was significantly damaged by a fire. The losses included first editions of Darwin's Origin of the species, as well as works from both Hooker and Bower. Many of the oldest botanical manuscripts and books were impacted because they were stored on the third floor under the roof space. After almost four years of continuous work, the building reopened in November 2005.

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Frederick Orpen Bower
Frederick Orpen Bower

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