Going Small

Friday, May 12, 1871

The Chicago Microscopial Society gathers for its semi-monthly meeting in the Academy of Sciences.  The members spend the evening viewing specimens that they have recently acquired, including rare species of “animaculae” (the name given at the time to tiny organisms not visible to the naked eye) found in Lincoln Park, an unidentified beetle discovered in a spider web in a local garden, and a small creature that looks to these Chicago gentlemen of education, means, and ethnic prejudices “like a squelched emigrant from Ireland.”