BALDWIN, SAMUEL PRENTISS (26 Oct. 1868-31 Dec. 1938) was a noted ornithologist, naturalist and lawyer. He established the BALDWIN BIRD RESEARCH LABORATORY and helped organize THE CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY. He was the leading expert on the house wren, a pioneer in bird banding, and an author of numerous monographs on birds.
Born in Cleveland to CHARLES C. BALDWIN and Caroline Sophia (Prentiss), Samuel received the A.B. (1892), the A.M. (1894) and a D.Sc. (1932) from Dartmouth College, and the LL.B. (1895) from Western Reserve University. Admitted to the Ohio Bar, Baldwin practiced law until illness forced his retirement in 1902. He then entered business, becoming chairman of The Williamson Co. and president of The New Amsterdam Co.
In 1914 Baldwin founded and directed the Baldwin Bird Research Laboratory at Hillcrest, his GATES MILLS estate, to study live wild birds. From 1914-1919 Baldwin pioneered a method of bird banding, adopted by the U.S. Biological Survey, which enabled scientists to study the migratory habits of individual American birds. Baldwin developed the wrenograph and the potentiometer to study the house wren's temperature and to prove it a cold-blooded animal.
Baldwin's most significant contribution was studying the body temperature of birds and proving their reptilian ancestry. Baldwin was a biology research associate at Western Reserve U., and a trustee of THE CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY.
Baldwin married Lilian Converse Hanna on 15 Feb. 1898. They were childless. Baldwin, a Presbyterian, is buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.