Gedón Goes Ashore

ID: SIA2009-4261 or Wetmore 6022

Creator: Wetmore, Alexander 1886-

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: January 6, 1956

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Alexander Wetmore Papers, Record Unit 7006, Box: 183, Folder Album: Panama and Coiba, 1956

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  • Gedón (Armagedón) Hartmann, sitting on another man's shoulders, goes ashore from the bongo on Coiba Island, Panamá. Gedón was a member of Wetmore's scientific expedition in the region. The man carrying Gedón is wading through the surf, approaching the beach. The shoreline is visible in the background.
  • The image was taken by Smithsonian Secretary and ornithologist Alexander Wetmore while on a scientific expedition in Panama and to Coiba Island and is contained in a photo album prepared by Wetmore.
  • When Wetmore made his trips to Panama, he always requested Ratibor Hartmann to be his assistant. Ratibor Hartmann was the eldest son of Alois Hartmann, who had helped on medical and naturalists' expeditions because of his knowledge of the area and Panamanian archeology to explore the jungles of the Western Highlands of Chiriquí. Ratibor took over from his father leading expeditions from the Gorgas Memorial Institute, where he worked, and several United States academic institutions in the field. Ratibor and his brother Gedón (Armagedón) Hartmannn accompanied Wetmore on many of his expeditions.
  • From 1919 to 1991, Coiba Island was a penal colony. Fear of the prison and its inmates deterred visitors from the island. As such, about 80% of the natural areas on the island remain undisturbed. The island is also host to many endemic species. Both of these factors made the island ideal for Wetmore's scientific expedition. The officers and convicts pictured in Wetmore's images from the expedition were part of the penal colony. Some even worked as laborers for the expedition. Today, the island is no longer a penal colony. Instead, it is one of 38 islands composing Coiba National Park, a World Heritage Site.


Hartmann, Armagedón


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


Wetmore Neg. # 6022. For more images of Gedón, see negative #SIA2009-4260, SIA2009-4268, SIA2009-4271, SIA2009-4272, and SIA2009-4285.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Alexander Wetmore Papers, Record Unit 7006, Box: 183, Folder Album: Panama and Coiba, 1956

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


January 6, 1956

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Scientific expeditions
  • Animals
  • Birds
  • Field work
  • Beaches
  • School field trips
  • Islands
  • Natural areas
  • Field trips
  • Ornithology--Field work
  • Ornithology
  • Panamanians


  • Coiba Island
  • Veraguas
  • Panama
  • Coiba Island (Panama)
  • Montijo District


  • Photographic print
  • Group, candid

ID Number

SIA2009-4261 or Wetmore 6022

Physical description

Number of Images: 1; Color: Black and White; Size: 4.63w x 4.38h; Type of Image: Group, Candid; Medium: Photographic print

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