Greetings Steve,

Thank you kindly for the info. Thelma Finlayson actually worked on taxonomy of ichneumonid larvae. That brings us even closer to Henry Townes. I also used to work with ex-Belleville technicians, especially Gene Bisdee. We also had their old solid steel green chairs around our coffee table. I bet these chairs are still being used in CNC !


From: Entomological Collections Network Listserve <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Steve Halford <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, July 31, 2019 3:34:18 PM
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: FW: Specimen manipulators produced with 3D printer
I have used one of these made of steel and brass belonging to Thelma Finlayson.  I believe she had our machine shop make it up from a design she (probably) brought with her from the Belville (Ont) Research Institute.  This would support a connection to both Ontario and Hymenoptera taxonomy.


Steve Halford ([log in to unmask])
Museum Technician (Retired)           
Department of Biological Sciences
Simon Fraser University


On Wed, Jul 31, 2019 at 9:26 AM Steve Halford <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

From: Entomological Collections Network ListserveOn Behalf OfLeblanc, Luc ([log in to unmask])
Sent: Wednesday, July 31, 2019 9:25:20 AM (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Specimen manipulators produced with 3D printer

Greetings friends,

I am sharing with you all my testimonial to a great advance that helped improve my teaching this year. For those of you who attended the ECN meeting in Vancouver, you may recall the demonstration on the use of 3D printers to produce low-cost entomological equipment during a presentation delivered by Brian Riley and Andrew Jansen (Arizona State University). I ordered and used their specimen manipulators (see attached photo) in the insect taxonomy course I taught this past semester, and more recently in a fruit fly identification course for APHIS pest diagnosticians. With both groups, they were an instant sensation on the first day of class, to the point that they were allowed to keep their manipulators for their long-term use. They are very inexpensive and have survived through a whole semester of student use. I highly recommend that you consider using them in your courses and institutions. For more information, you may contact Brian Riley ([log in to unmask]). 

I would also appreciate any help figuring out the history of the development of these manipulators. I formerly worked in the Hymenoptera unit of the Canadian National Collection (in the 1980's). There I can recall someone (I believe it was Bill Mason - Braconid taxonomist at CNC) saying that these manipulators were designed by Henry Townes, who also designed the improved version of the Malaise trap model that is widely used nowadays. I never thought of asking Henry himself to confirm this story when I used to know him (as an aspiring Ichneumonid taxonomist). That is why I would be grateful if any of you could share information, anecdotal or confirmed, related to the original design and development of these specimen manipulators. 

Luc Leblanc

Curator of the William F. Barr Entomological Museum

University of Idaho, Department of Entomology, Plant pathology and Nematology (EPPN)

875 Perimeter Drive MS 2329

Moscow, ID 83844-2329

Phone: 208-885-7079

L'enfance de l'art est la jeunesse du coeur - Sol.