Wisconsin Historical Images | Portraits of Scientists: Increase Lapham's Cartes-de-visites Collection: "A self-educated engineer and naturalist, Increase Lapham was Wisconsin's first scientist and one of the state's foremost citizens.
He wrote the first book published in Wisconsin; made the first accurate map of the state; investigated Wisconsin's effigy mounds, native trees and grasses, climatic patterns, and geology; and helped found many of the schools, colleges and other cultural institutions, including the Wisconsin Historical Society, that still enrich the state today.
He also kept in-touch with many of the leading geologists, botanists, and other scientists and artists of his day, amassing an album of photographs to visually complement his extensive personal correspondence. Lapham's album of portraits, 95 in all, is the feature gallery this month from Wisconsin Historical Images, the Society's online image database.
Lapham was born in Palmyra, New York, in 1811, and came west to Milwaukee in 1836 to assist with the construction of the Milwaukee and Rock River Canal. The canal was never built but Lapham decided to stay "