You are on page 1of 4


Update - 13 January 2009

A. - Fact Sheet #1 for Kids (and Adults):

1. Walter Granger's first expedition to the American West was in 1894. He

accompanied Jacob Wortman's fossil hunting party which included Olaf Peterson and
Albert Thomson.

2. In 1896, Granger replaced Peterson and, with Wortman and others, visited famed
amateur archaeologist Richard Wetherill at the newly discovered, now famous
Anazasi site at Chaco Canyon (New Mexico). From there the fossil hunters headed
deep into the San Juan Basin.

3. The famous dinosaur locality now known as Bone Cabin Quarry near Medicine Bow,
Wyoming, was discovered by Walter Granger in late August of 1897. Excavation of
the site began in 1898. Some sources incorrectly associate Barnum Brown and/or
others with this discovery. Not so. Barnum Brown and/or others had nothing to do
with Bone Cabin Quarry's discovery or its subsequent excavation. The key players
in the excavation of Bone Cabin Quarry following Granger's discovery of it were
Granger, Jacob Wortman, Albert Thomson, Harold Menke and Peter Kaisen. Wortman was
gone by 1899, leaving Granger in charge.

4. Walter Granger was the first US paleontologist to collect on a non-American

continent. It was in the Fayum of Egypt in 1907. George Olsen assisted him, as did
Egyptian workers.

5. Walter Granger was the first paleontologist to collect in the Yangtze River
basin. He was assisted by Buckshot (Kan Chuen Pao), Chow (Chao Hui Lu), Liu (Liu
Ta Ling) and others.

6. Walter Granger was the first paleontologist to collect in Inner and Outer
Mongolia. In 1922, the Mongolia expedition party was a small reconnaissance party
limited to a paleontologist, two geologists, a zoologist and a cinemaphotographer.
It was much the same in 1923, except that three assistants in paleontology were
added and the cinemaphotographer was dropped. It was not until the 1925 party that
other scientific disciplines were added, such as archaeology, topography, and
paleobotany. The cinemaphotographer was brought back, as well.

George Olsen assisted Granger on two Mongolia expeditions (1923 and 1925) and
during winters in the laboratory in Peking (1923-25), as did Chinese and Mongolian
workers. Buckshot, Chow, and Liu served throughout. Peter Kaisen assisted in
Mongolia for one summer (1923) and Albert Thomson served there for two (1928 and

7. The first find of whole dinosaur eggs was by George Olsen at Flaming Cliffs in
Outer Mongolia on July 10, 1923. This was not the first discovery of dinosaur
eggs. In 1869, the French claimed to find a dinosaur eggshell fragment in the
Pyrenees. However, this claim remained in doubt. The first scientifically accepted
find of a dinosaur egg was an eggshell fragment found by Walter Granger on
September 2, 1922, at Flaming Cliffs, the same place Olsen made his discovery of
whole dinosaur eggs and their nest a year later. Some sources mistakenly cite the
date for Olsen's find as July 13, 1923. Not so. It was made on July 10, 1923.

Olsen promptly notified Granger of his find. Roy Chapman Andrews, however, did not
become aware of it for nearly another two weeks. (Anyone know why? Hint: location,
location, location--what was Andrews doing when Olsen found the eggs?)
8. The scientific fieldwork of the Central Asiatic Expeditions (CAE) was
coordinated by Walter Granger who was the CAE's chief paleontologist and second-

9. Roy Andrews, by his own admission in his own publications, was not a
paleontologist or a competent fossil collector.

10. Like a number of US civilians living in key areas abroad during the time, Roy
Andrews served the US Navy's Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) as a paid civilian
informant for a few months during 1918-1919. He operated under cover of his
curatorship with the American Museum of Natural History. He even had a code name.
(Anyone know what it was?) He was not, however, a trained spy. Nor was he a member
of the US military. And he did not actually serve for a WWI purpose--his use was
for post-WWI purposes. His term of service, however was briefer than the year he
signed up for. He inked the deal in Washington, DC, in June of 1918, returned to
Peking with his wife Yvette and son George a few weeks later and, after settling
in, began snooping around in China and Mongolia. In April, 1919, however, the ONI
abruptly terminated his service. (Anyone know why? Hint: peeping eyes--could
Yvette have had anything to do with it?)

By the way, three of Andrews' sponsors for the ONI job were heads of major
American scientific institutions. (Anyone know who and which?)

And, while Walter Granger interacted with various members of the British and
American navy Yangtze River gunboat patrols in China during the early 1920s and
did exchange information with them, there is no record that he operated as a paid
civilian informant.

11. Walter Granger spent significantly more time in the field during the Central
Asiatic Expeditions than did any other member. His Chinese assistants Chow and
Buckshot were the next in accumulated field time. They served with Granger in
China and Mongolia. From 1921 to 1930, Granger made one four-day expedition to
Zhoukoudian, four winter-long expeditions to the Yangtze basin (Sichuan and
Yunnan), and five summer-long expeditions to the Gobi basin (Inner and Outer
Mongolia, as they were then known). He also returned to the States three times.

Only one other CAE westerner served both on China (1925-26 and 1926-27) and
Mongolia (1925) expeditions. He was CAE archaeologist Nels C. Nelson.

Anna Granger, Walter's wife, and Ethelyn Nelson, Nels' wife, were the only women
to serve on the CAE's China expeditions. Anna attended three (1922-23, 1925-26,
1926-27) and Ethelyn attended two (1925-26, 1926-27). They were considered adjunct
members of the CAE. These were the most dangerous expeditions by the CAE anywhere.

Yvette Andrews, Roy's wife, briefly accompanied the 1922 CAE Mongolia party from
Kalgan to Urga and then returned to Peking. She never went into the field again.

12. Walter Granger's favorite baseball team was the Brooklyn Dodgers. His favorite
state was Vermont. His next favorite state was Wyoming. And although George Olsen
and Albert Thomson were among his very best friends and field companions, he
thought Nels Nelson was the best camp mate he had ever known.

B. - Fact Sheet #2 for Kids (and Adults):

1. The first known Mongolia-Gobi transit by motorcar was:

a. Roy Chapman Andrews et al. in 1918-1919
b. Roy Chapman Andrews et al. in 1922
c. Walter Granger et al. in 1921
d. Prince Scipione Borghese et al. in 1907
e. Vladimir Obruchev in 1892-1894

Answer: d. Italian Prince Scipione Luigi Marcantanio Francesco Rodolfo Borghese

and his driver/mechanic Ettore Guizzardi drove an Itala 35/45 across the Gobi-
Mongolia along the ancient camel caravan route from Kalgan at the Great Wall
northwest to Urga near the Russian border and into Siberia and beyond during the
famed 1907 motorcar race from Peking to Paris. The Italian journalist Luigi
Barzini accompanied them stuffed in a makeshift back seat wedged between two extra
gas tanks mounted over the rear fenders. Barzini recorded the event and reported
on it whenever possible to a rapt world audience via the telegraph stations that
dotted the route along the way. Yes, there was a telegraph line from China to
Russia strung across the Gobi-Mongolia in 1907. They served as Borghese's
guideposts over the Mongolian plains and Gobi desert.

Four other cars competed in the 1907 Peking to Paris race, although Borghese led
all the way. Since all but one of them made it to Urga, there really are four
recorded motorcar crossings of the Gobi-Mongolia in 1907. Many such crossings
would follow thereafter, of course, since the race's purpose was to prove that
feasibility. By the time of the Roy Chapman Andrews and the Central Asiatic
Expeditions in 1922, auto traffic between Kalgan and Urga was commonplace.

So, how, in 1907, did Borghese and his fellow competitors manage to make it all
the way across a rather primitive Gobi-Mongolia in open, two-seater cars with
limited carrying capacity? There were no fuel stations or auto supply and repair
shops or rest stations. The cars couldn't possibly carry all the fuel, oil, water,
supplies and spares needed to negotiate the 800 miles from Kalgan to Urga. In
fact, these were cached in advance: all requisite items and spares were
transported up the route by camel caravan and dropped off at predetermined
locations along the way. Yes, that was in 1907, a full fifteen years ahead of the
Central Asiatic Expeditions which adopted the same method!

2. Which of the following was a member of the Freemasons?

a. Theodore Roosevelt
b. Lowell Thomas
c. James B. Shackelford (CAE cinema photographer)
d. Walter Granger
e. Al Jolson

Answer: all of the above.

3. Who wrote the following and when?

"In Mongolia, and in the desert of Gobi, we were to find ourselves able to get up
speed only in crossing virgin land. There are plains over which the best road for
the automobile is where no road is marked! A few years ago we could not have
risked ourselves without a guide over the endless Mongolian prairies and over the
desert. Now there is an invaluable guide along the camel road: it is the
telegraph. You blindly follow the lines of the telegraph poles for about eight
hundred miles, and you reach Urga. In those distant regions, over the endless
solitude of Central Asia, the nearness of the telegraph, meant for us a nearness
to our own world, and this was a further reason for the choice we made."

a. Roy Chapman Andrews, 1922

b. Walter Granger, 1922
c. Luigi Barzini, 1908
d. Vladimir Obruchev, 1895
e. Yvette Borup Andrews, 1919
Answer: c. Luigi Barzini in Peking to Paris (1908) at p. 62.

4. Who wrote the following and when?

"The geology of this part of the world is occupying more and more commercial
attention and I believe the work which Professors Berkey and Morris can do will
not only be of great value scientifically but also make our Expedition of direct
economic importance."

a. U.S. President Warren G. Harding, 1922

b. Walter Granger, 1922
c. Henry Fairfield Osborn, 1922
d. Roy Chapman Andrews, 1922
e. Yvette Borup Andrews, 1922

Answer: d. Roy Chapman Andrews in a letter written in 1922 to Henry Fairfield


5. To facilitate their exit from a warlord battle at Wanhsien (Wanxian) on the

Upper Yangtze in March, 1923, Anna Granger departed the city aboard the American
gunboat USS Palos (II) while Walter departed aboard a rented junk which also
carried his men as well as expedition equipment and fossils. The junk sailed under
the protective guard of the Palos (II).

6. The 'Central Asiatic Expeditions' began as the 'Third Asiatic Expedition' since
it followed Andrews' First and Second Zoological Asiatic Expeditions. It was
renamed 'Central Asiatic Expeditions' by American Museum of Natural History
president Henry Fairfield Osborn in 1926 "because," Granger wrote his father, "the
public never seemed to understand that this was all the Third Asiatic Expedition
regardless of how many years we took to do it. Personally I much preferred to keep
the old name regardless and it will still be used on scientific labels, etc."
I'm always happy to assist, chat and/or drop hints. You may contact me at:
--Vin Morgan

The Granger Papers Project is an independent research, editing and writing project
featuring the personal expedition diaries and letters of American paleontologist
and explorer Walter Granger (1872-1941) and his wife Anna (1874-1952). In several
significant respects, this is the first treatment of Walter Granger's era based on
a significantly more complete documentary record. In addition to paleontology, the
study of evolution, and Granger's pioneering fieldwork in the Fayum of Egypt in
1907, in China and Mongolia from 1921 to 1930 (Central Asiatic Expeditions), and
in the American West throughout his life, research topics include: American
foreign policy; western civilian, missionary, and military interests in Asia; the
First and Second Asiatic Expeditions; The Explorers Club; the American Museum of
Natural History; and previously published accounts of, by, or about the aforesaid.
Address interest or inquiry to us at

Related Interests