Autobiographical Sketch

Martha Bunting in 1881
Martha Bunting in 1881

[This autobiographical sketch was written in 1935.]

Martha Bunting, daughter of Samuel and Susanna Lloyd (Andrews) Bunting, born Dec. 2, 1861.

Martha Bunting, who was called Pattie, having been named for her great aunt Pattie Bunting, was fond of playing with her younger brothers and thus was called a tomboy by her sister Kezia. She was also very fond of reading, which has remained her special delight, throughout a long life. Always interested in the beauties of Nature, for many years she devoted much time to the scientific study of this subject, finally specializing in Protozoology, the science of the Protozoa or lowest form of animal. Her general reading from childhood has been History, and therefore when prevented from continuing her studies in Protozoology on account of ill health, she became interested in research of Genealogical and Historical subjects.

She attended the Friends’ School at Darby, Penn.; prepared for College by Miss Alice Pearson, for many years the head teacher of the Friends’ School, Darby, but at this time she had retired; Swarthmore College, Class of 1881, degree B.L. [Bachelor of Letters]; University of Penn., Class of 1890, degree B.S.; Graduate study at Univ. of Penn. 1890-91; Graduate study at Bryn Mawr College 1891-1893, degree of Ph.D. 1895. Graduate Study and Research were carried on at the following educational institutions: Marine Biological Laboratory of Woods Hole, Mass.; Marine Laboratory of Cold Spring Harbor, New York [i.e., Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory]; Medical School of Johns Hopkins University; *Columbia University; Course in Universal History, University Extension Course, given by professors of History at Columbia University. (*The first work at Columbia University was confined to lectures on Education, lectures and laboratory work in Vertebrate Zoology, including Paleontology, and research in Protozoology. The Extension Course was taken while she was teaching in Wadleigh High School, New York City.)

Martha Bunting began to teach in the autumn of 1893. Assistant Instructor in Biology and Physiology, with lectures and demonstrations in Botany and Osteology, Goucher College (then known as the Woman’s College of Baltimore City), 1893-1897; Head teacher of Biology and Physiology, Philadelphia High School for Girls, Philadelphia, Penn., 1897-1898; teacher of Biology and Physiology, Wadleigh High School for Girls, 1900-1912; Research Assistant to Dr. Edward T. Reichert, Professor of Physiology, Univ. of Penn., 1912-1916, (the research work of Dr. Reichert was conducted under a Carnegie Grant); World War Relief Work, 1916-1918; Private Assistant to Dr. John Kolmer, 1918-1919; Fellow by Courtesy, at Univ. of Penn., Zoological Laboratory, 1919-1926; Genealogical and Historical Research 1926-[1944].

Martha Bunting is a member of the following Associations, Societies and Clubs:

  • Fellow of American Association for Advancement of Science (A.A.A.S.)
  • Charter and Honorary Member of Geog. Soc. of Philadelphia
  • Life Member of Phila. Acad. Nat. Sci.
  • American Assoc. of Univ. Women (A.A.U.W.)
  • Sigma Xi
  • Life Member of Association of Alumnae of Univ. of Penn.
  • Hist. Soc. of Penn.
  • Geneological Soc. of Penn.
  • Friends’ Hist. Assoc.
  • *College Club of Phila. (*Women’s University Club; name changed in Spring of 1935)
  • Seamen’s Church Institute
  • Alumni Soc. of Swarthmore College
  • Alumnae *Soc. of Bryn Mawr College (*Association)
  • Needlework Guild of America
  • New Century Guild of Phila.
  • Stockholder of Penn. Acad. of Fine Arts
  • Library Co. of Phila. (holder of share of Rees Lloyd, a great, great, great uncle, who signed the Articles of Agreement in 1731)
  • Darby Library Co. (several ancestors signed the Articles of Agreement in 1743)
  • Subscriber to American Friends Service Committee
  • American Red Cross
  • Welfare Federation of Phila.
  • Etc.

Papers & Photographs Published:

— The Origin of the Sex-Cells in Hydractinia and Podocoryne; and the Development of Hydractinia. Journal of Morphology, vol. 9, issue 2 (Apr 1894); pp. 203-236.
— Significance of the Otoliths for the Geotropic Functions of the Crayfish; translated into German by Dr. Jacques Loeb, under whose instruction Martha Bunting conducted the research, and published in Archiv für die Gesamte Physiologie, Bd. 54 (Mar 16, 1893); pp. 531-537. The title in German reads as follows: Über die Bedeutung der Otolithenorgane für die geotropischen Functionen von Astacus fluviatilis.
— Structure of the Cork Tissue in Roots of Some Rosaceous Genera. Contributions from the Botanical Laboratory, vol. 2, no. 1 (1898); pp. 54-65. (Publications of the Univiversity of Pennsylvania, New Series no. 5.)

Assisted Dr. Edward T. Reichert, Professor of Physiology, Univ. of Penn., with the following Publications under a Carnegie grant:
— The Differentiation & Specificity of Starches in Relation to Genera, Species, etc. Carnegie Publication no. 173, 1913. [Note: In this publication Dr. Reichert warmly credits Martha Bunting’s assistance: “Practically all of the studies included in the latter group, and also the determinations of the temperatures of gelatinization, were made by Miss Martha Bunting, B.L. (Swarthmore), Ph.D. (Bryn Mawr), whose painstaking work in various laboratories is so well known to biologists as to render an introduction needless.”]
— A Biochemic Basis for the Study of Problems of Taxonomy, Heredity, Evolution, etc. Carnegie Publication no. 270, 1919.

— A Preliminary Note on Tetramitus, a Stage in the Life Cycle of a Coprozoic Amoeba. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 8, no. 10 (Oct 15, 1922); pp. 294-300.
— Studies in the Life-Cycle of Tetramitus rostratus Perty. Journal of Morphology, vol. 42, issue 1 (Jun 1926); pp. 23-81. (Given to the publicity man of the Univ. of Penn., as the most important contribution of the year 1926 from the Zoological Laboratory of the university. Popular reports appeared in many newspapers throughout the United States and in many places in Europe. The Weekly Magazine of the New York American, Dec. 19, 1926, devoted an entire page to a review of the work.)
— Binary Fission in the Amoeboid and Flagellate Phases of Tetramitus rostratus (Protozoa). Journal of Morphology and Physiology, vol. 47, issue 1 (Mar 1929); pp. 37-87. Due to a recent illness, Dr. David H. Wenrich, head of the courses on Protozoology, Univ. of Penn., collaborated with Dr. Martha Bunting in the preparation of this paper.

During the above period, chiefly in the summer, Martha Bunting made photographs and collected data on flowers, gardens, etc., the results of which were published in: Country Life in America; The Craftsman; The Touchstone; House and Garden; National Geographic. Historical articles and illustrations have appeared in Penn. Magazine and the Friends’ Intelligencer.

Martha Bunting is a member of the Religious Society of Friends with registration at Fifteenth and Race Streets., Philadelphia. On account of imperfect hearing, she does not take an active part in the business of the meeting, but subscribes money for the carrying on of its activities.

[Martha Bunting died on Oct. 13, 1944.]