The modern study of the ocean floor began in 1936 when Charles Snowden Piggott (1892-1973), a chemist on the staff of the Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, announced that he had invented a “hollow punch” which is thrust into the ocean by an explosion of powder and, when hauled back, brings up a rock core of the ocean bed. The Geophysical Laboratory donated this Piggott core sampler to the Smithsonian in 1950.
Ref: Charles Snowden Piggott, “Core Samples of the Ocean Bottom and Their Significance,” The Scientific Monthly 46 (March 1938): 201-217.
George R. Tilton, “Charles Snowden Piggott,” Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences 66 (1995): 246-264.
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