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Spooky Science II: Chicago Academy of Sciences-inspired Halloween costumes

Created: 10/25/2017      Updated: 10/25/2017

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Halloween is less than a week away, but if you still don’t have a costume ready to go, don’t worry. We have even more scientifically-focused suggestions that date back to the early days of the Chicago Academy of Sciences! Click here to check out our first list of pioneering explorers and scientists, or read on for even more Halloween costume inspiration!

Anna Pederson Kummer

Anna Pederson Kummer

Love plants? Anna Pederson Kummer's for you! She was a Chicago Academy of Sciences curator in the 1940s, as well as a botanist. Here's what you need to assemble the look:

  • A plaid vintage-style dress (long-sleeve, with the skirt hitting mid-calf)
  • Low- or kitten-heel shoes
  • 1940s-inspired hair (think lots of rolls with bobby pins and combs to keep them in place)

Top it all off with a collection of pressed plant sheets or scientific plant illustrations. Kummer specialized in weed seedlings. Click here to check out a weed seedling leaflet published by the Academy and written by Kummer in 1942.

Dr. William Beecher

Dr. William Beecher

In addition to being one of our beloved former directors, Dr. William Beecher was a noted ornithologist. Get his 1960s look by grabbing the following:

  • A gray suit
  • White dress shirt
  • Black tie
  • Thick, dark-framed glasses
  • Binoculars

Find a plush bird or two and you'll have the complete look! Did you know that our Beecher Lab is named after Dr. Beecher? Learn about Dr. Beecher's legacy from students who studied with him here and here.

Leonora K. Gloyd

Leonora Gloyd

Her husband Howard was Academy Director for several years, but Leonora was a noted Academy explorer in her own right (and we've got the photo to prove it!). To get her look, grab the following:

  • A Panama or asymmetrical sunhat
  • A loose-fitting safari or cargo vest
  • A white oxford shirt
  • Tall hiking boots and boot socks
  • Riding breeches (or similar pants)

Grab a butterfly net and you're all set! While Howard was a herpetologist and specialized in reptiles and amphibians, Leonora was an odonatist and specialized in damselflies and dragonflies. There's even a damselfly named after her! Click here to read an Academy-published bulletin written by Leonora herself.

Edwin & Roy Komarek

Edwin and Roy Komarek

These explorer brothers were mammalogists and curators who worked for the Academy in the 1930s and 1940s, and often accompanied the Gloyds on expedition out west. To get Edwin's look, find the following:

  • A patterned fleece pullover
  • Dark jeans
  • Tall hiking boots
  • Round-frame glasses
  • An old-fashioned motion picture camera

To get Roy's look, grab:

  • Octagonal glasses
  • A Panama or safari hat
  • A button-down utility shirt
  • Khaki pants
  • Tall boots
  • A pipe

Whether you choose Edwin or Roy, be sure to grab a plush furry critter or animal pelt to complete the look. To read about the brothers' work on expedition, check out this Academy-published bulletin from 1938.

Planning on using one of the other looks for your costume this year? Be sure to share it with us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram! We'd love to see it!

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