Bailey, Irving Widmer (1884-1967)
Irving Widmer Bailey was born on August 15, 1884, in Tilton, N.H. and spent much of his youth in South America. He studied at Harvard, receiving a bachelor's degree in 1907 and a master's in forestry in 1909. Bailey was associated with Harvard for most of his career, first at the Bussey Institution and later at the Arnold Arboretum and the Gray Herbarium. During World War I, Bailey was in charge of the wood section of the materials engineering department of the Bureau of Aircraft Production. Bailey was the author of the controversial "Bailey Plan", which recommended the unification of botanical activities at Harvard (presented to the Harvard Corporation in 1945). Although he started in forestry, Bailey came to be known for his work in plant anatomy.
Bailey married Helen Diman Harwood in 1911. He died on May 16, 1967.
Available evidence seems to indicate that Harvard University was an early center for the investigation of pollen and spore morphology mainly due to the presence there of Irving W. Bailey from 1909 until his death in 1967. Although Bailey was basically a plant anatomist, he often collaborated with systematic botanists in the investigation of angiosperm genera and families. In this connection, he firmly believed that evidence of relationships should be based on the microscopic characteristics of all parts of the plants under investigation. One particular approach that he found to be of value was the comparative study of pollen grains. Even though I have not worked on that aspect of palynology for some time, I got my start in 1946 by comparative studies of the pollen of the primitive families Magnoliaceae and Annonaceae (Canright, 1953, 1962).
Palynological students include James Canright, Elso Barghoorn.
The larva of Pseudomyrmex gracilis described.
- Wheeler, W. M.; Bailey, I. W. 1920. The feeding habits of pseudomyrmine and other ants. Trans. Am. Philos. Soc. (2) 22: 235-279 PDF
- By Ralph H. Wetmore; 22 page biography 1974. Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) vol. 45.