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Did you know that The Museum has a strong connection to the “unsinkable ship”?

Dr. Levi Mengel was an entomologist, as well a science teacher for the Reading School District and founder of RPM – you may be familiar with him; he resides in the Mengel Gallery on the Ground Floor of The Museum. Dr. Mengel was set to receive a very special shipment in April 1912; that was being delivered via boat—that boat was the Titanic.

Below is an article the Curatorial Team dug up on the loss!

Lost with Titanic
Valuable Butterflies and Stamps went down.

Prof. Levi W. Mengel, instructor in the sciences at the Reading Boys’ High School, and an entomologist with an international reputation, was notified that a consignment of 1000 butterflies, many of which were exceedingly rare specimens, was lost on the Titanic.

Pro. Mengel was receiving the butterflies for his private collection, the largest in America, from an India correspondent who had shipped them by way of London.

It is impossible for Prof. Mengel to estimate the loss since he does not know what is included, but it will run into hundreds of dollars.

Prof. Mengel’s son, Arthur, received word by the same mail that brought news of his father’s loss that a collection of stamps, for which he had paid $300, and which he was receiving from a correspondent in London, had also gone down in the Titanic.


April 18, 2017


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