reed cover The Earth for Sam, 1929
By W. Maxwell Reed

W. Maxwell Reed had been an instructor of astronomy at Harvard before writing this book and two subsequent books:
The Stars for Sam, and the Sea for Sam (with Wilfrid S. Bronson).  The Earth for Sam discusses life through the geological
periods against the backdrop of historical geology.  Interestingly,  The Earth for Sam favorably discusses Wegener's theory
of continental drift 30 or so years before the theory of continental drift (now plate tectonics) became widely accepted by the scientific
community.  Although Karl Mosely was listed as the illustrator of the line drawings contained in this book, his contributions consisted
of throwaway cartoonish doodles.  The Earth for Sam does, however, contain numerous copies of illustrations from a variety of paleartists,
including the ubiquitous Charles R. Knight (the volume includes many of his illustrations and artwork for the American Museum of Natural
History in NY, and a few of his then just completed murals for the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago), Gerhard
Heilmann, Alice B. Woodward, Robert Bruce Horsfall, Erwin S. Christman, Richard Deckert, and many others.  If you collect old
prehistoric animal books you must get a copy of this one.  Note, some editions of this book list a 1930 copyright date.  Also note that this
book was reissued in 1960 with substantially revised text and many different illustrations substituted.


Life in the Cretaceous seas drawn by S.W. Williston for his book "Water Reptiles of the Past and Present."  Note that the
figure caption in The Earth for Sam wrongly identifies the plesiosaur as a mosasaur.  The Hesperornis on the left is clearly based on
a drawing of the prehistoric sea bird by James M. Gleeson.


An early illustration of Ceratosaurus by J. Smit which was originally included in H. R. Knipe's Nebula to Man.

reed stego

One of the best known illustrations of Stegosaurus, by Charles R. Knight.  This is one of several murals of prehistoric
animals that Charles R. Knight completed for the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History.   According to Czerkas and
the Field Museum murals were prepared by Knight from 1926 to 1930.  Since the first edition of Earth for Sam was
issued in 1929, I assume Knight had not yet completed all of his murals by the time the book was released.


The Earth for Sam includes this illustration of a Pteranodon, sans crest.  A nearly identical illustration appears in Cold-Blooded
, by Gilmore, Cochran and Hildebrand (1934), although this time the Pteranodon sports a crest.  Neither book lists
the artist, but the web site Early Image lists the artist (at least for the crested version) as Robert Child.  Note that Reed's caption
states that the Pteranodon was "Drawn under the direction of S. P. Langley of the Smithsonian Institution at Washington." 
Colbert's Digging for Dinosaurs contains a similar illustration that was clearly derived from the crested version.