Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Jacques Loeb

Main content start

Born in 1859 in the Prussian town of Mayen, present-day Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, Jacques Loeb entered the University of Strassburg in 1880, completing a medical degree in 1884.  Loeb next took postgraduate courses at the universities of Strasburg and Berlin, and in 1886 became an assistant at the physiological institute of the University of Würzburg, remaining there until 1888. During his vacations, Loeb conducted biological research, at Kiel in 1888, and at the Stazione Zoologica in Naples, Italy in 1889 and 1890.  In 1891 Loeb moved to the U.S., teaching for one year at Bryn Mawr College, then accepting a position as Assistant Professor of Physiology and Experimental Biology at the University of Chicago in 1892.1 During his time at the University of Chicago, Loeb moved up the ranks of academia, becoming an Associate Professor in 1895, and Full Professor in 1899.2

In 1888, running parallel to Jacques Loeb's academic progression was the opening of Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) at Woods Hole Massachusetts; which offered of a summer course of instruction in invertebrate zoology. MBL next added a general course in marine botany (1890), general physiology (1892), and embryology (1893). Beyond these courses of instruction during the summer months, the Marine Biological Laboratory offered private investigator rooms to visiting scientists, free of charge.

In 1892, Hopkins Seaside Laboratory opened with a summer course of instruction in invertebrate zoology and marine botany. The following year (1893) courses in the special instruction in zoology (i.e. morphology, physiology, embryology, and histology) were offered to students and visiting scientists. Beyond offering courses of instruction during the summer, the Hopkins Seaside Laboratory, like MBL, offered private investigator rooms available to visiting scientists throughout the year, free of charge.

Other than the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, the Hopkins Seaside Laboratory in Pacific Grove, California was the only facility in America at the time offering course instruction and research opportunities in advanced zoology associated with the study of marine organisms.

Jacques Loeb first visited the MBL facilities in 1892, becoming a frequent visitor at the Woods Hole seaside laboratory for many summers thereafter.2 During the summers of 1899 and 1900, as a visiting scientist at Woods Hole, Loeb conducted his initial and soon to be famous artificial parthenogenesis experiments using sea-urchin eggs as the model system.3


Following these initial experiments at Woods Hole, in the winter of 1898 and 1900, Loeb maintained an investigators’ room at Hopkins Seaside Laboratory. During his first visit, Loeb conducted an experimental physiology demonstration that applied an engineering approach to scientific research and made a lasting impression on the young Ray Lyman Wilbur. The following paragraph from Wilbur’s memoirs offers his personal recollection of Jacques Loeb’s visit during the winter of 1898.

It was during that year (Feb.11, 1898) that Dr. Jacques Loeb, professor of physiology at the University of Chicago, paid a visit to Stanford. He was planning to carry on some special work at the Hopkins Seaside Laboratory at Pacific Grove. He gave us a fine demonstration of the physiological effects of certain electrical waves. I helped prepare friction apparatus for the demonstration and also provided the so-called muscle-nerve preparation of the frog, which includes certain nerves of the hind legs. Dr. Loeb demonstrated that Hertzian waves could be deflected by mirrors. His most dramatic demonstration was with the muscle-nerve preparation. When the machine was working he  put hands into the path of the waves, deflecting them toward the muscle-nerve preparation, and said, "Now, Yoomp!"…Yoomp! Yoompl"...And the hind legs "yoomped." He repeated it again. I can still hear him say, "Now, Yoomp!" and see the frog legs jump.

Beyond the experimental physiology demonstration using frogs, Loeb had come to Pacific Grove to confirm the experimental results he obtained at Woods Hole Laboratory associated with artificial parthenogenesis - the ability to activate sea urchin eggs without sperm and initiate development. While at the Hopkins Seaside Laboratory, Loeb completed the experiments that confirmed his results and led to a publication in Science magazine later that year titled “On the Artificial Parthenogenesis of Sea Urchins.”

    Jacques Loeb’s experimental results, showing the ability to initiate the embryonic development of sea urchins without sperm, sent shock waves through the biological science community. As one of the earliest examples of bioengineering, Loeb’s parthenogenesis experiment presented the opportunity to control and manipulate life’s processes, rather than the simple attempt to analyze and understand nature, as had been the practice of the vast majority of biologists in America up to that point in time. Jacques Loeb’s pioneering results, showing a mechanistic conception of life, not only received extended publicity in the press but would have significant implications on the direction of scientific research, not only at Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory but at the Hopkins Marine Station as well.


In 1902, Jacques Loeb was recruited by the University of California at Berkeley to fill a similar chair to that which he held at the University of Chicago.   When Loeb relocated to the University of California, the plan was to continue his research associated with sea urchin development. Unfortunately, Loeb soon found that his primary source for seawater - the San Francisco Bay - was so polluted that his research was jeopardy of coming to an end.

    Shortly after accepting the position at the University of California, Jacques Loeb befriended Dr. Morris Herzstein. As a medical doctor and wealthy San Francisco real estate speculator, Herzstein was interested in advancing science and willing to support Loeb’s research interests. Herzstein would provide this support by purchasing a sizable piece of property in New Monterey. In addition, Herzstein supported the construction and necessary equipment for a laboratory. Positioned at the southern end of Monterey Bay, the Laboratory supported Loeb’s research efforts associated with parthenogenesis, which required his having access to sea urchins and pure seawater.

In the fall of 1905, Dr. Morris Herzstein gifted to the University of California Regents a deed for a four-acre plot of land positioned along the waters of Southern Monterey Bay. Within his comments to the University of California Regents' Herzstein outlined his ambitious plan for the protection of the shoreline of New Monterey.

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 30, 1905.

To the President and Regents of the University of California, Berkeley, California.

GENTLEMEN : I take great pleasure in presenting for your acceptance the enclosed deed of lot No. 14, block No. 1,  lying in New Monterey, Monterey County, California, and building thereon, in which Professor Loeb is now continuing his scientific experiments. It is my wish that this station be designated as the “Morris Herzstein Research Laboratory at New Monterey.” I might add that the coast where this laboratory is situated is an exceptionally fine collecting ground and should be kept free from contamination by sewerage, poaching upon the rocks, and destruction of animal and vegetable life, which matter can be amicably arranged between the University and Monterey officials. Negotiations are pending and I shortly expect to control the entire water front, from the laboratory to the Presidio of Monterey, whereon no building or trespassing of any kind will be permitted.

With cordial greetings, gentlemen, I remain
Very truly yours,
[Accepted November 14, 1905.]5

The following month an article appeared in the San Francisco Call mentioning the gift of the Herzstein Laboratory.


President Wheeler announced that Dr. Morris Herzstein had donated a large body of land at Monterey near Pacific Grove and a laboratory where pure sea water could be obtained for the pursuit of scientific work in connection with the researches of Professor Jacques Loeb. There had already been built a temporary structure. In line with the Rudolph Spreckels laboratory at the University and Dr. Herzstein had equipped it with apparatus which was considered the finest of its kind in this country excepting that at Wood's Hole, Buzzard's Bay.

The gift bears no stipulations. A vote of thanks to Dr. Herzstein accompanied the formal acceptance….6


As Loeb had found his visits to the Hopkins Seaside Laboratory in Pacific Grove in 1899 and 1900 scientifically rewarding, Morris Herzstein established the facility for along the shores of New Monterey.  Positioned just east of Pacific Grove’s Chinese fishing village, at the foot of David Avenue, where stands today the main entrance to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, was located the Hertzstein laboratory, a small plain, one-story wooden building. At this simplest of research facilities, Loeb spent a significant amount of time during his tenure as a professor at the University of California.


Jacques Loeb has never been identified as a voice for marine conservation, speaking out to the press with a concern for the health of a particular marine environment. The recent finding presented below recognize Loeb as among the first scientists to call a marine protected area to be established along the shoreline of Monterey, California.
On February 24, 1906, the following article appeared in the San Francisco Call.  In the article, Jacques Loeb voices the need to establish a marine preserve along the shoreline of Monterey to protect the invertebrate populations.

Professor Loeb Claims Filth From New Monterey Is Destroying Animal Life
He Needs for His Experiments
Savant -Declares He Must Give Up Important Researches Unless Waters
Are Saved From Pollution

Special Dispatch to The Call. MONTEREY, Feb. 23. - Unless the sewer of New Monterey, which empties into the bay near the foot of David street, is changed it will interfere with the experiments being conducted by Professor Jacques Loeb, the eminent scientist of the University of California, who is conducting experiments in the reproduction of animal life. No portion of the bay is richer, in its animal life and easier of access than the shore immediately in front of the Dr. Herzstein laboratory, in which Dr. Loeb is at present conducting his work. The sewer empties on the beach at low tide amid the rocks, and the filth and refuse which - it carries is poisoning the shellfish - which abound along the shore. By the extension of the sewer forty or fifty feet the difficulty would be overcome, as the sewage would, then be carried out to sea.

Just now Dr. Loeb is endeavoring to have the sewer lengthened. He said today that if this be not done' in a short time it would be necessary to abandon his experiments here. Professor Loeb said today:

There is no place so well suited for my experimental work as this place, but if this sewer is not changed I will have to leave New Monterey. The purest of water is necessary in my work. For instance, at Naples it is necessary to go out in a boat a distance of eight miles and get the water in order to have it of the purest. Besides, the sewage will kill all kinds of animal life, and if I cannot have access to the animals along the coast I cannot carry on my work. I am willing to contribute to the cost of extending the sewer, which is a mere bagatelle, and think it will be done.

Monterey Bay is a grand place to carry on experiments of the kind I am interested in.  All kinds of shell fish are to be found. The State of California, however, should take the matter up and set apart a piece of the shore, say from 1000 to 2000 feet, right along here, as a sort of marine forest and animal reserve. Scientists would come here to study these problems and their work would greatly aid the people, especially those interested in the fisheries.  As it is now the Japanese fishermen are denuding the shore of its shell fish and in a few years more this once fertile shore will be practically a desert. 

Why this shore a few years ago was just alive with animal life. There was shell fish of all kinds.

Three years ago sea urchins were thick along the shore and now it is hard to find one. Eight years ago, we had no trouble getting abalones, but now we can hardly find a large one. The Japanese swoop down on these shells, fish and clean them all out. Something should be done to stop it, and I favor, the passage of a law by the next State Legislature making the shore a reservation: The bill, of course, should be wisely drawn. Just imagine what a place this would be if it was reserved. Why, in a few years those rocks would abound with the finest kind of specimens, and it would be a breeding place that would supply all the rest of the bay shore with the fish.

For instance, the sea urchins, when they are a few days old, set afloat for a place- to lodge and grow.  The larva rises to the top of the water and drift out to the open sea, that is, away from the rocks along the shore, and later is washed into some protected place, where it lodges and takes on life. The other shell fish are the same way. In Monterey Bay you have the greatest variety of fish of any bay on the coast, and consequently there is a good feeding ground or else the fish would not come here. These same shell fish provide the dinners for the fish. A breeding ground such as a reservation would provide, would increase the fishing in the bay and bring the fish here.

If the place is not protected then in a few years your bay will be lacking in fish. Something should be done the coming year in regard to it. Here at New Monterey if the shore is protected I could walk out of this laboratory and gather a few shell fish without even getting my feet wet, get some pure salt water, and hurry back and take up my experimental work. That is where this place has the advantage over other places. Why such vandalism as destroying the animal life along this shore would not be permitted on the Atlantic coast, where they have laws governing such matters.

Professor Loeb refused to talk about his experiments, but as the reporter turned to go he said: Let me show you a few of my sea urchins. These never knew father nor mother, and were propagated in my experimental work. About a dozen of the little shell fish, which he said were forty-eight hours old, could be seen swimming about under a microscope.7


A month following the San Francisco Call’s newspaper article mentioning Loeb’s suggestion for a marine preserve along the shores outside his lab, the Monterey Fish and Game Protective Association began to discuss creating a marine preserve by establishing an ordinance prohibiting the commercial exploitation of marine invertebrates.

On March 10, 1906, the following article appeared in the Santa Cruz Weekly Sentinel.


An effort will be made to protect the shell fish in and about the bay of Monterey. The fish are becoming scarcer every year and the Monterey Fish and Game Protective Association has taken the matter in hand. The trustees of Monterey and Pacific Grove will be petitioned to adopt ordinances prohibiting the wholesale fishing for shell fish. Professor Jacques Loeb, who is interested in making a portion of Monterey bay a State preserve for the propagation of shell fish and other fish, informs the Cypress that he has been conducting experiments at his laboratory for four years and has been investigating the different species of sea life. When he first began his experiments the shores were plentifully supplied with sea urchins, abalones and other shell fish, but during the past two years they have almost entirely disappeared. He used only about three sea urchins, but now he could hardly obtain any. He said the people directly responsible for the diminishing of these were the Japanese fishermen, who had about fifty boats. They would fill them up with the shell fish as full as they could load them and as a result there were but very few left. These fellows are absolutely ignorant and have emptied the bay of its treasures. He said it was not only, the fish that makes Monterey bay valuable, but the finding of pearls. Here you have the abalone pearls, and scientists are now making it possible for the abalone by cultivation to yield pearls of great value. The Japanese are taking all these abalones from the bay. He said they should not be allowed to take them from the bay. In the East science is making some valuable discoveries in regard to the uses of the sand by the shore, and clams, oysters and other shell fish are now under cultivation. These must be allowed to develop and not be destroyed by ignorant classes. In concluding his address he said if proper protection was given to the shell fish around the bay, that in time this laboratory would be to the fishing interests what the Department of Agriculture is to the farmer, but that the work could only be accomplished providing that it was protected. 8


Loeb’s comments to the press sparked action beyond the consideration of an ordinance to establish a marine preserve as the Monterey promotion committee of merchants' association began to explore solutions to city’s sewage problem.  On August 25, 1906, the following newspaper article mentioning the associations’ effort appeared in the San Jose Mercury News.


[State News.]

Monterey, Aug. 24. - Special to Mercury. - The promotion Committee of the Merchants’ Association met last evening and discussed the sewage question.  When the proposed bonds carry it will be necessary to erect a pumping plant to carry the sewage away from the beach.  T. B. Hunter, the resident engineer of the Pacific Improvement Company, was present at the meeting and gave some valuable information in regard to the sewage question. He tended his services to the committee so far as he had time.  The sewer must be extended out into the bay, for at the present time it washes back on the beach and makes it filthy.  A committee consisting of H. A. Greene, T.B. Hunter and C. W. Peterson were appointed to investigate and report the best methods for an outlet sewer.9


At Jacque Loeb’s urging, Harry Ashland Greene of New Monterey began the effort to establish legislation for the protection of the marine environment along the southern end of Monterey Bay.  Years earlier, HA Greene had established himself as an advocate for conservation with his being the founder and president of the Federation of the Tree Growing Clubs of America. Often referred to as the "Tin Can Club" this organization was recognized nationwide as a promoter of reforestation. As part of Harry Greene’s "Tin Can Club," children were encouraged to participate in the forest preservation movement by growing tree seedlings in tin cans until the saplings could be transplanted and survive on their own. One result of Greene’s establishing of the Federation of the Tree Growing Clubs of America was his receiving the nickname “Tin Can Harry”

Harry Greene environmental advocacy for forestry was expressed in several letters he wrote to the eminent naturalists John Muir in an effort to acquire federal protection for an ancient grove of cypress located in New Monterey.

H. A. Greene also served for many years as vice president of the California Game and Fish Protective Association (organized May 26, 1900, and later renamed California Fish and Game, April 10, 1915) and the Monterey merchants' association. It of interest to note that H. A. Greene, in addition to serving as a member of the Monterey merchants' association was also a member of the California Game and Fish Protection Association.


According to a newspaper article that appeared November 18, 1906 in the San Francisco Call, during a meeting of the Game and Fish Protective Association being held in Sacramento: “H. A. Greene secured the endorsement of a law prohibiting the dumping of oil into the bay of San Francisco, which will also include the whole coast, as it is killing the shellfish. Greene also brought up the matter of creating a marine reservation to protect the shellfish off the shores of Pacific Grove and Monterey for scientific investigation. This measure is proposed by Professor Loeb, who does a great deal of work in a laboratory in that city.10


Mentioned in the Santa Cruz Sentinel newspaper of December 1, 1906, the Monterey Merchants Association had adopted a resolution urging the California State Legislature to establish a preserve along the shoreline of Southern Monterey Bay.

Ask the Creation of a Preserve for Invertebrate Animal Life.

Monterey: There was a large and interesting meeting of the Merchants Association. A resolution was adopted urging the Legislature to create a preserve for invertebrate animals and prohibiting the taking of shellfish for commercial use.11

In 1907, the California Legislature established one of the state’s earliest marine protected areas within the southern end of Monterey Bay (Stats 1907, Chapter 416). This “act to create a preserves for shellfish and invertebrate animals” prohibited the commercial take of all invertebrates between Point Pinos and the town of Seaside.


According to The Statutes of California and Amendments to the Codes Passed at the Extra Session of the Thirty-Seventh Legislature the following legislation was approved in March of 1907

Approved March 21, 1907, was the following legislation: Act to create a preserve for shellfish and invertebrate animals within a portion of the Bay of Monterey and to prohibit taking the same from such preserve for commercial purposes.

The people of the State of California represented in Senate and Assembly do enact as follows:

SECTION 1. A preserve for all kinds of shellfish and invertebrate animals is hereby created, which shall consist of that portion of the Bay of Monterey bounded and described as follows: Commencing at the extreme point of Point Pinos at the southern entrance to Monterey Bay and running thence in a straight line easterly to the eastern shore of said bay at a point north of the town of Sea Side, said point being marked by a permanent monument placed by the United States government surveyors and designated as “Monterey 3,  N. O. T. C.  & G. S.  Sta”; thence following the shore line on and around the southerly side of said bay to the place of beginning.

SEC. 2. No person shall fish for, catch, take or remove any shellfish or invertebrate animals of any kind, for commercial purposes from the preserve hereby created.

SEC. 3. Any person violating the provisions of this Act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not exceeding five hundred dollars or imprisonment in the county jail for not exceeding ninety days or by both such fine and imprisonment.

 SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect from and after its passage.12

According to an article that appeared in both the San Jose Evening News on June 5, 1907, the legislative act provided the necessary law for state enforcement officials to close the fishing of squid from within the designated area located at the southern end of Monterey Bay.


There will be no squid drying in New Monterey this year. Under the law passed by the last legislature, creating a marine reserve in Monterey Bay for shellfish and invertebrate animals, the taking of squid is prohibited.

This reserve extends along the shore of the bay inside of a line from the Point Pinos lighthouse to the monument near the brick works at Seaside. All the squid taken has been inside of this reserve. That will now be stopped. The Chinese fishermen at McAbee-ille have leased a piece of land from David Jacks in New Monterey adjoining the Work lumber yard, and began preparing to dry squid there.


H. A. Greene and Professor Loeb as soon as they heard of the proposed drying ground notified the authorities that the taking of squid was a violation of the State law, and Game Warden Birks and Marshal Machado at once notified the Chinese that they would be arrested if they caught squid for commercial purposes in the marine reserve.

Squid is the principal food of the salmon, and it is them that has attracted this great food fish to the Monterey Bay. Professor Loeb went to the salmon packing house and conducted an investigation into the contents of the stomachs of salmon. About a dozen stomachs were opened, and in each stomach were found from eight to fifteen squid.


Later in the day he sent the following letter to H. A. Greene: New Monterey, May 31, 1907. My Dear Mr. Greene: “You were instrumental in the passage of the law making an invertebrate reserve of the harbor of Monterey.

“You are aware of the fact that this law was passed with the intention of protecting and promoting the fish industry in this harbor. The ocean may be considered as a wealth producer in the same sense as the land; with this difference only, that in the case of the ocean the returns come to us in the form of food fish.

“The fish are nourished from invertebrate animals and we can not have large quantities of fish unless we have large quantities of invertebrates. In order to make this possible we had to have a law passed to protect the invertebrates, which are of little value compared with the fish.


“It is a well known fact that many fish appear only at certain times in this harbor, e. g., the most valuable of food fish, the salmon. The reason for this periodical appearance of the salmon lies in the fact that it follows the squid. The squid appears in swarms in this harbor at certain times of the year and it serves, together with the sardine, as the pasture ground of the salmon.

“Everybody who has had experience in opening salmon knows that its stomach contains squid. If the squid are numerous in the harbor the salmon will stay in large numbers, but if the squid diminish the salmon will diminish also and go to other pasture grounds where squid are found.

“If this place wishes to maintain its salmon industry or wishes to see the returns of this industry increased there is only one way to accomplish this, namely, to protect the squid.


“The life in the ocean may be compared to a machine in which you cannot destroy one wheel without interfering with others. If you destroy the squid you drive away the salmon. If you wish to keep the salmon you must preserve and protect the squid.
“You have asked me whether the squid is an invertebrate? It is, and as such it falls under the protection of the new law. The protection of no other invertebrate is as valuable financially to this harbor as that of the squid. I remain, yours sincerely, Jacques Loeb.” 13

In 1913, the shellfish preserve language was amended to allow the taking of “squid and devilfish” in the area (Stats. 1913, Chapter 569) provided that these invertebrates were not taken by the use of lampara, paranzella, and trawl nets (Stats 1913, Chapter 567).    This amended law went into effect on August 10, 1913 and read as follows:


ACT 1742 An act to create a preserve for shellfish and invertebrate animals within a portion of the bay of Monterey and to prohibit taking the same from such preserve for commercial purposes.

History: Approved March 21, 1907, Stats. 1907, p. 758. Entire act except the title amended June 16, 1913. In effect August 10, 1913. Stats. 1913, p. 980,

This entire act except title, was amended in 1913 (Stats. 1913, p. 980) as follows:

Shellfish preserve in Monterey bay created.

§1. A preserve for all kinds of shellfish and invertebrate animals, except squid and devilfish, is hereby created, which shall consist of that portion of the bay of Monterey bounded and described as follows: Commencing at the extreme point of Point Pinos  at the southern entrance to Monterey bay and running thence in a straight line easterly to the eastern shore of said bay to a point north of the town of Seaside, said point being marked by a permanent monument placed by the United States government surveyors and designated as "Monterey N. 0. T. C. & G. S. Sta."; thence following the shore line on and around the southerly side of said bay to the place of beginning.

Fishing prohibited.

2. No person shall fish for, catch, take or remove any shellfish or invertebrate animals of any kind, other than squid and devilfish, for commercial pui-poses from the preserve hereby created.


§ 3. Any person violating any of the provisions of this act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than
twenty-five dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail of the county in which conviction shall be had of not less than ten days nor more than one hundred and fifty days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Disposition of fines.

§ 4. All fines and forfeitures imposed and collected for any violation of the provisions of this act shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the fish and game
preservation fund.

Also approved on June 16, 1913, and effective August 10, 1913, was the banned use of or possession of lampara nets paramzella nets trawl or drag nets for catching fish, shellfish, shrimp or crabs in the waters of fish and game district six or in the waters of Monterey bay. 



William Ritter provided the following description of the Herzstein Laboratory in an article published in Popular Science Monthly in March of 1915.
The Herzstein laboratory, also at Pacific Grove, is quite different in aim and scope of activities from the Hopkins. It was a gift to the department of physiology of the University of California by Dr. Morris Herzstein, of San Francisco, the primary purpose of which was to provide a sea-side working place where Professor Jacques Loeb could prosecute certain of his investigations. In keeping with the relatively simple technic of the studies which have made this biologist famous, the Herzstein laboratory is small and inexpensive. It is a plain, one-story wooden building, about forty-five feet square, divided into three fairly good-sized rooms, two small store rooms and a dark room. It is provided with an alternating electric current, and running fresh water, but not with gas or salt water. The small quantities of sea water needed are brought to the laboratory from the nearby sea by hand. A good supply of glassware for experimentation on simple animals is always on hand. As already indicated, the laboratory is operated in close connection, so far as research is concerned, with the department of physiology at Berkeley. No provision is made or is hardly possible for formal instruction or for any considerable number of investigators, or for much range of investigation. At present Professor S. S. Maxwell, as head of the department of physiology, also has charge of the laboratory. Professor Loeb's use of it has not ceased, although he has severed his connection with the University of California. He has spent considerable time at Pacific Grove during the last two years.14


According to Philip J. Pauly in his book, Controlling life : Jacques Loeb and the engineering ideal in biology:
The Lab was active from 1905 through 1915. Jacques Loeb worked there from 1905 to 1910. The original plan was that the entire length of Oceanview Blvd was to eventually be acquired for the Lab. However the 1906 San Francisco earthquake also sent tremors through the financial world as well as San Francisco. Dr. Herzstein could no longer afford to keep the lab operating let alone add to the real estate (even though the Pacific Improvement Company offered to donate the rest of the land to try to keep out the nascent seafood processing industry. 15
Monterey Americans Friday, April 4, 1918
Something About the Monterey Marine Preserve Law
Was Not Intended To Cover Squid
      Ten Italian fishermen were arrested for taking squid in Monterey Bay Preserve this morning by State Department of Fish and Game Warder Oyer and Constable Frank Shook of Salinas. It is stated that they were taken into custody a short distance from the wharf and were in the act of taking of squid.  It is stated that the men have demanded a jury trial.  As the law is not too definite in its context and the Monterey juries are not too strong on the conviction and  it is rather to be expected such convictions will be rare.
      The interesting feature of the whole matter is that the law was not drafted with any intention of preventing the catch of squid. At the time the bill drafted Professor Loeb who operated a marine laboratory beyond McAbee Beach Chinatown, and where, by the way, had some of the most profound discoveries.
        While engaged in this work he said the Japanese fishermen were practically denuding the bay of marine animal life, such as shell fish, crabs, sea urchins and the like.  The Sea Urchins, which were used in making ornaments, and with which Loeb’s experiments were largely carried on, were fast disappearing.  Loeb told his troubles Harry Greene and Greene in turn asked the secretary of the Chamber of Commerce to draft a bill to remedy this matter.  The result was the Monterey marine preserve bill.
      At the time squid were not thought of by the authors of the bill as belonging to the invertebrate animal life.  Afterwards it was found that squid largely formed the feed of the salmon while here.  It was then feared that salmon might leave the place if the squid were taken away.  It was entirely forgotten that in the past squid had been taken in far vaster quantities that at that time and no evil effects had apparent.
      It was then discovered that the squid were really protected by the Marine Preserve Law and this was called to the attention of the fish and game people. The difficulty in convicting the law will be found in the trouble to prove that the fish were taken for commercial purposes, as it is not wrongful to take the fish for private use.
Mentioned in the Annual Report of the President of the University (Berkeley) 1917-1918, the Herzstein property was leased to Knute Hovden, a leading innovator in canning technology.


Lease to K. Hovden Company

On October 9, 1917, The Regents approved a lease dated September 11, 1917, to the K. Hovden Company of Lot No. 14 in Block No. 1, "Map of the north half of the town of New Monterey," together with the buildings and improvements thereon, for eight years, from September 1, 1917, to August 31, 1925, for the total rent of $800, payable in advance in equal installments of $100 each on the first day of September in each year during the term of the lease, commencing September 1, 1917.16


According to the Annual Report of the President of the University on behalf of the Regents to His Excellency the Governor of the State of California, 1919-1920, the Herzstein property was sold to the K. Hovden Company in February 1920


Sale of Herzstein Property:

The action of the President and Assistant Secretary was approved and confirmed in having executed a deed to K. Hovden Company

for the Herzstein property in New Monterey.17



The first marine protected area in the Monterey Bay that was inspired by Jacques Loeb only prohibited the commercial exploit of marine invertebrates from the designated region. Unfortunately, there existed no statute in the law that prohibited individuals collecting marine life from the shoreline.  This issue of overharvesting of marine animals, particularly marine invertebrates, from the shore was not taken into legislative consideration until many years later with the estabishment of the Hopkins Marine Life Refuge



  1. Elliott, Steve (2009). Jacques Loeb (1859-1924).  The Embryo Project Encyclopedia.  Retrieved January 21, 2014, from
  2. Ibid.
  3. Pauly, Philip J. (1987). Controlling life : Jacques Loeb and the engineering ideal in biology. New York : Oxford University Press.
  4. Loeb, Jacques. (1900).  On artificial parthenogenesis in sea urchins. Science, New Series. 11 (277): 612–614.
  5. University of California Regents' Manual Endowments, Foundations, Agreements, Laws, And Orders Governing The University, The University Press. 1905.  Page 393.
  6. Gives Freely to Students, Mrs. Hearst's Latest Gift to State University Runs Into Quite Fabulous Sum, Dr. Herzstein liberal Adds to Dr. Jacques Loeb's Department by Donating Estate and Laboratory. San Francisco Call, Volume 98, Number 133, page 9.  October 11, 1905. San Francisco, California.
  7. Sewer May Spoil Work of Scientist. San Francisco Call, Volume 99, Number 86, Page 4. February 24, 1906. San Francisco, California.
  8. Shell Fish Of Monterey Bay:  Efforts Are Being Made  To Protect Them From Destruction.  Santa Cruz Weekly Sentinel. Volume 44, Number 118, Page 13. March 10, 1906. Santa Cruz, California.
  9. Monterey. Promotion Committee Of Merchants Association Discusses The Sewage Question. San Jose Mercury News. Volume 71, Issue 56, Page: 10. August 25, 1906. San Jose, California.
  10.  Successful Meeting of State Fish and Game Association. San Francisco Call, Volume 100, Number 171, November 18, 1906. San Francisco, California.
  11.  Monterey to Urge Legislation. Santa Cruz Weekly Sentinel.  Volume 11, Number 153, Page 1. December 1, 1906. Santa Cruz, California.
  12.  The Statutes Of California Amendments To The Codes Passed At The Thirty-Seventh Session Of The Legislature 1907. Sacramento W.W. Shannon Superintendent State Printing 1907
  13.  Against the Law to Catch Squid Chinese out of Business as a Result Invertebrates Attract the Salmon to Bay. The Evening News. Volume: 48; Page 5.  June 5, 1907. San Jose, California.
  14. Ritter, William E. (1915) The Biological Laboratories of The Pacific Coast. Popular Science Monthly. Vol. 86: 223–32. March 1915.

  15.  Pauly, Philip J. (1987). Controlling life : Jacques Loeb and the engineering ideal in biology. New York : Oxford University Press

  16.  Annual Report of the President of the University on behalf of the Regents to His Excellency the Governor of the State of California, 1917-1918. Published by the University of California University of California Press Berkeley. 1918.

  17. Annual Report of the President of the University on behalf of the Regents to His Excellency the Governor of the State of California, 1919-1920. University of California Bulletin Third Series Vol. XIV, No 6 1919-1920. December 1920, Published by the University of California, Berkeley