LEFTDr. Bern Bechtel (with wife, Bette, circa August 1994) of Valdosta, Georgia, U.S.A. is one of our candidates for 'Godfather of Herpetoculture'.  Although it wasn't his intention, his efforts breeding corn snakes to study color inheritance, starting in the 1950s, gave modern herpetoculture its crown jewel - the one that we feel propelled herp breeding ahead more than any other single event.  His creation of the first strain of captive-bred, non-normal color variants in snakes --- amelanistic (albino) corn snakes Elaphe guttata --- in the very early 1960s inspired oodles of budding herp breeders to become interested in propagating, not just keeping herps.  Having a hardy species that could reliably be predicted to produce a return on the investment of time and money - by swapping, selling, etc. the captive-bred offspring - helped open the floodgates for the hobby (and trade) to boom.

RIGHTGlenn Slemmer (then of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada - pic circa Sept. 1978) was also a front-runner in 'the game', having produced the first double-heterozygous corn mutants --- snow corns --- about 1980ish.  He is also the first one (we know of) to cross Great Plains rats Elaphe g. emoryi into Elaphe g. guttata to enhance the yellow.  Both men brought the art of selective breeding to herps.  Just look where it's progressed to today!