Farlow Library of Cryptogamic Botany




Joseph Horace Faull was born in L'Anse, Michigan in 1870, and grew up on the Canadian shore of Lake Ontario. He attended Victoria College, University of Toronto, where he played on the hocket team, graduating in 1898. From 1898-1900, Faull taught mathematics at Albert College, Bellevue, Ontario. He returned to the University of Toronto to study biology in 1900.

The following year he came to Harvard as an Austin Fellow, working in mycology under Professor Roland Thaxter. In 1903 he married Annie Bell Sargent, a doctoral candidate at Johns Hopkins University who gave up her own career to be his wife. They would have three children, a daughter who died at age 16, a son who became a chemist, and a daughter, Anna, who followed her father into the study of botany but gave up her career to help her father in the home. She organized her father's papers before donating them to the Farlow Library.

Faull received his doctorate from Harvard in 1904 and returned to a professorship at the University of Toronto where he remained until 1928. In 1909-10 he spent a sabbatical year at the Forst Botanishe Institut at the University of Munich. He took additional courses at the College of Forestry at Syracuse University and taught summer school for several years at Cornell and Harvard.

He collected in the Adirondacks and the Alleghenies and in the forest lands of Ontario and Quebec. In 1918 he began the development of a forest pathology laboratory for the Canadian government on Bear Lake in the Lake Timagami Forest Reserve, Ontario and spent a number of summers there. He also developed a shade tree laboratory at the University of Toronto.

Faull became a Professor of Forest Pathology at Harvard in 1928. He taught an undergraduate class in plant pathology on the Cambridge campus, but spent most of his time at the laboratory and greenhouse built to his specifications at the Arnold Arboretum where he studied the pathological problems of the trees in that collection. He had additional workspace at the Farlow Herbarium and at the Biological Laboratories.

He continued his collecting in New England and eastern Canada and expanded his collecting to the Northwest, California and Illinois. From 1933-40 he made winter collection trips to the tropics (Jamaica, Cuba, Mexico and Panama).

His primary areas of research, in which he was assisted most importantly by his Harvard graduate student G.D. Darker, were fir and spruce rusts, Phacidium blight, lilac diseases, conifer needle-cast diseases and a problem in white pine propagation. His studies while at the Arboretum however reached into many other areas of tree pathology. From the first discovery of Dutch Elm Disease in the western hemisphere, he was involved with publicizing its threat and attempting to organize an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to eradicate it.

He retired in 1940 and was named Professor Emeritus. He continued to work at his laboratories into the mid-1950s, publishing his last paper in 1956. In 1959, in the opening address at the IX Botanical Congress in Montreal, he was given the citation "Father of Canadian Botany."

During his long career he published monographs on Milesina and Uredinopsis, presented a long paper on the Pucciniastreae at the International Congress of Plant Sciences meeting in Ithaca, New York and published on numerous other aspects of plant pathology. He lived at 77 Fresh Pond Lane in Cambridge, where he died in 1961.

Biographical Reference:

Anna F. Faull, Joseph Horace Faull, 1870-1961, Journal of the Arnold Arboretum (XLIII:3, July 1962). [with portrait]


Provenance: The collection was given to the Farlow Library by Faull's daughter, Anna F. Faull.


Extent: 7 linear feet.


Scope & Content:

Collection consists of: correspondence, teaching materials, photographs and glass plate negatives, drawings, laboratory and field notes, and drafts of articles and monographs. Little material of a personal nature is present.


Series Descriptions:

The collection is made up of 14 series.

Series I Correspondence
Series II Academic Materials
Series III Botanical Science and Pathology Materials
Seriex IV Forest Pathology Reports (1919-1929)
Series V Arnold Arboretum Plant Pathology Reports (1928-1940)
Series VI Field Data - Tree Observation Sheets
Series VII Collection Lists, Collection Cards, Collection Reports and Herbarium Specimen List
Series VIII Experimental Data and Reports
Series IX Mexico Trip Miscellany (maps, lumber industry report, etc.)
Series X Bibliographies
Series XI Reprints
Series XII Photographs
Series XIII Drawings
Series XIV Glass Plate Negatives
Series XV Personal Miscellany
Series XVI Oversize Items

Container List


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