Lee Passmore, Trapdoor Spider Photographer


In 1933, Lee Passmore published an article in National Geographic that featured the first description and photographs of the lifestyle of trapdoor spiders and their amazing nest construction. He and his assistant, Frank Beck, had spent years observing and carefully excavating the nests before making the remarkable photos used in the article.   

A nature photographer for more than 50 years, Passmore also published articles in Popular Science, Scientific American, and Nature.  An early member of the San Diego Society of Natural History, he donated his entire collection of glass plate photographic negatives to the Museum’s Entomology Department in 1958 shortly before his death.

PHOTO CREDIT: Research Library, SDNHM