Flashback Photos

Flashback Photo: Rachel Carson at the Edge of the Atlantic

Rachel Carson with Bob Hines, Atlantic Ocean

Rachel Carson with Bob Hines, Atlantic Ocean

Before Rachel Carson wrote about the environmental dangers of pesticides in her 1962 book Silent Spring, she wrote several popular science books about the sea.

Today’s Flashback Photo shows Carson with Bob Hines researching the third book in her ocean trilogy, The Edge of the Sea.

Her other two ocean books were Under the Sea Wind and The Sea Around Us. Together, they formed a biography of the ocean and made her famous as a naturalist and science writer for the public.

Rachel Carson was born on May 27, 1907 in Springdale, Pa. After she graduated from Chatham University (then Pennsylvania College for Woman), she studied at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, and in 1932 received her M.A. in zoology from Johns Hopkins University.

She spent the next 15 years working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, supplementing her income by writing natural history articles for the Baltimore Sun and The Atlantic.

Her books were so popular they allowed her to quit government service and devote herself full-time to writing. In 1953, Rachel Carson moved to Southport Island, Maine, with her mother. Though she later moved back to Washington, she continued to spend summer in Maine.

She turned her attention to warning the public about the long-term dangers of pesticides, challenging the government and agricultural practice. Silent Spring created an outcry against the use of DDT. The chemical industry attacked her, but DDT was banned nationwide in 1972. The ban is credited with the return of two endangered birds: the bald eagle and the peregrine falcon.

Rachel Carson died on April 14, 1964, of a heart attack during her fight with breast cancer.

In 1969, the Coastal Maine National Wildlife Refuge became the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Sandra Leblanc-Casino

    April 14, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    I read her book “Silent Spring” when I was in college. It changed my thinking and scared the heck out of me.

  2. Sandra Leblanc-Casino

    April 14, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    I read her book “Silent Spring” when I was in college. It changed my thinking and scared the heck out of me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top