Stubborn Elephant Dead

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sells brothers circus2.jpg
sells brothers circus1.jpg

One of the headlines in the April 23, 1900, New York Times reads, “Stubborn Elephant Dead, Killed by Two Others at Madison Square Garden.” The article goes on to recount a Saturday performance by the Sells Brothers’ Circus, which was “bereft of one of its best dancing elephants. The animal, whose name was Dick, was killed while an attempt was being made to move him with two large ropes pulled by two other elephants. Ever since the show came here Dick has been misbehaving although his conduct had before that been most exemplary. Every now and then he became restive, refusing to perform his part in the elephant quadrille, and making the utmost precautions necessary to prevent him from harming the keepers.”

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The article ends, “From tip to tip he measured 12 feet 6 inches, his weight being two and a half tons. The measurement of his body crosswise was 3 feet 9 inches. After the body was cut up yesterday morning by Taxidermist H.H. Vogelsgan, it was found that there were 110 square feet of leather in his hide, 10 of his truck, and 5 in his ears. Sixteen men worked half the day on the carcass. Negotiations for the purchase of Dick’s frame for mounting are being carried on by the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh.”

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Sells Brothers Millionaire Confederation of Stupendous Railroad Shows (Buffalo, N.Y.: Courier Company Show Printing House, 1880). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2012- in process

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The Railroad Shows graphic implores: "READ, REMEMBER, PRESERVE and CIRCULATE." Could they possibly have imagined? Those words have been "preserved" forever digitally and "circulated" at the speed of light around the entire world.