Irving Widmer Bailey

Irving Widmer Bailey
Born August 15, 1884
Tilton, New Hampshire
Died May 16, 1967(1967-05-16) (aged 82)
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Fields Botany
Institutions Arnold Arboretum
Gray Herbarium
Alma mater Harvard College

Irving Widmer Bailey (August 15, 1884 - May 16, 1967) was an American botanist.


Early life

Bailey was born on August 15, 1884, in Tilton, New Hampshire. His dad, Solon Irving Bailey was a professor of astronomy at Harvard University. In 1907 Irving Bailey got his great honour degree from Harvard College and two years later received his master's degree in Forestry from Harvard's Graduate School of Applied Sciences. The same year he got a job as Instructor of Forestry at a nearby school where he taught biology. He often worked at Bussey Institution which later became a division of the Graduate School of Applied Biology, and at the same time, had positions at the Arnold Arboretum and Gray Herbarium which were divisions of Harvard University Herbaria. He was also a skilled engineer. One day, a dean of Faculty of Arts and Sciences requested him to create a plan, which became to be known as the Bailey Plan and became controversial because of a suggestion that all sectors of botany should be unified. He proposed that plan to the Harvard Corporation in 1945 the result of which was an erection of Harvard University Herbaria.[1]

World War I and World War II

In 1911 he was married to Helen Diman Harwood and three years later, because of World War I, began working for Bureau of Aircraft Production at Wright Field, in Dayton, Ohio where he was in charge of wood and because of his previous experience in botany he knew which wood is needed for the airplane construction. During World War II he helped designing a camouflage when he was a part of Camouflage Project in Engineers' School at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. During his 58-year career he published 140 papers before he died on May 16, 1967.[1]


  1. 1 2 "Irving Widmer Bailey". Harvard University Herbaria. Archived from the original on June 3, 2013. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
  2. IPNI.  I.W.Bailey.

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