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HIstory of Taxidermy

Discussion in 'Taxidermy History' started by Scherzer, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. Scherzer

    Scherzer New Member

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    Hey all,
    I am currently doing a project for my history class and i am doing mine on the history of Taxidermy.
    What i would like to know is what kinds of mounts and poses where the most popular in the 1920's especially.
    So if anyone has any information under this topic it would be greatly appreciated.

    Brandon
     
  2. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    Brandon, please go to the "members" list on this site & find the name "NTA4U" That mans name is John Janelli. Contact him & you will find he is not only helpful, but also an encyclopedia of information on the history of Taxidermy.
     

  3. Scherzer

    Scherzer New Member

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    Thank you Michael.
     
  4. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    Scherzer, click the link below & it will take you straight to John's profile. You can send him a personal message with your questions. I also sent John a link to this post. As I said, he is a world of information about Taxidermy history & loves to share it. Good luck to you.

    http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=4910
     
  5. John Janelli

    John Janelli New Member

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    Hello Brandon, first let me thank Michael for pointing me towards you. Although I don't know about being an encyclopedia on our history, I'm more of a story book instead. And a love story at that. I'll just try best for him and see if together, we can help you get a good grade on this.
    Back in the 1920's, the traditional taxidermy mount was straight up, ears forward with either a neck style appearance or really short shouldered at that. We used to use the actual skull with excelsior, which is shredded soft wood like Aspen, and lots of wet modeling clay. The skins were dressed in a brine / acid solution and poisoned against any future insect attacks. The ear liners, the material that would reinforce the thin ear skin and very thick ear cartilages, were made of sheet lead that could be hammered into any shape desireable. As time consuming as it was, a taxidermist could really crank out a vast number of deer heads once he had the technique down pat. It wasn't long before we started to use the hollow plaster and burlap mannkins to reduce the mass weight and finally allow us the freedom of producing a higher volume of work thanks to the plaster mold system originated by Carl Akeley and improved upon by James L. Clark. Most sportsmen didn't want any over exaggerated mounts on their walls because they didn't know any taxidermists who could produce such unique styles therefore preferring to keep them all simple. In fact, Theodore Roosevelt had his motto whenever he had something to be mounted by a taxidermist, " Carnivore - open mouth; herbivore - closed mouth." It was in vogue back then to have all sorts of animals and birds mounted including dogs and cats. Taxidermists literally sold thousands of mounted specimens to a very wide spectrum of clientele. Game laws were just about nonexistent or merely thought of as suggestions so anything could have passed over a taxidermist's work bench in those days. It wasn't until the Jonas Brothers (taxidermists not the band) begun to model customer's work into one of a kind pieces such as the table pedestal mount of today. Dynamic taxidermy in museums was actually being done even before Carl Akeley's time but unfortunately, those mounts are now being destroyed and or eliminated from public viewing these days. A national tragedy to say the least.
    Names such as William T. Hornaday, Leon L. Pray, Julius Friesser, Leon L. Walters, Carl J. Albrecht and John Rowley all made definitive contributions to commercial and musuem taxidermy. But for some reason, commercial taxidermy only made enough strides to hasten the process itself in order to make a more lucrative livelihood from it. I'd be more than happy to photo copy some of my collection for you if you think that will help. Be sure to mention in your report that taxidermy as we know it today, had it's very beginning in Pennsylvania thanks to Benjamin Franklin and Charles Wilson Peale. It was Peale and his sons who mounted the many specimens brought back from the Lewis & Clark expedition. Famed circus celebrity P.T. Barnum purchased the remnants of that collection but most were all destroyed by the fire in NYC back then where it was all kept. But as fate would have it, this circumstance soon gave way to turning an old civil war ordnance building in to the greatest educational institution the world has ever known, the American Museum of Natural History along Central Park West.
    Call me toll free, email, PM or continue to discuss this most captivating part of our profession and industry right here on the forums with all of us.
    John Janelli 1-877-JANELLI
     
  6. Whitetailart

    Whitetailart New Member

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    Brandon
    I have to agree with Mike on this
    John is a wealth of knowledge and a great asset to this industry. When it come to the history of taxidermy you can not go wrong with contacting him.

    Bob
     
  7. Tom Cruickshank

    Tom Cruickshank The History Channel says I'm "creepy"!!

    If you live close to NYC, take a walk through the American Museum of Natural History with him. Your head will EXPLODE!! ;D ;)
     
  8. Scherzer

    Scherzer New Member

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    Wow. That information will help me out so much.
    i pm ya
     
  9. taxi_grl_ga

    taxi_grl_ga Active Member

    hahahahaha I did a 10 pg. paper on taxidermy and the history of for my senior paper in high school, email me at [email protected] with "taxidermy history" in the subject bar and I can email you a copy :) the paper was a part of the senior project which also had to have a 10 min. speech, a project (I did a L/S mount of a Lynx), photos of different steps in the process of the project, shadow work with someone already established in the profession and an interview with a different person also in the profession. I got a 100 on the paper and a 98 on the overall project (my speech was a couple of minutes too short lol) There is probably more in-depth information available but it might help for you to see how I laid out my essay......good luck with the project anyway!!!
     
  10. shoooooot. There was a FANTASTIC tv show... Was it .. umm.. Modern Marvels? Didn't they do a one hour special on Taxidermy? I can't remember how much of it was history, but it sure was a fun show to watch anyway.
     
  11. John Janelli

    John Janelli New Member

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    Now why didn't I think of that?! But thanks for the feedback anyway. The name of that one hour internationally televised show was in fact "The History Channel / Modern Marvels - Taxidermy". It aired for the first time on 3/9/05.
    You can still order this DVD or VHS directly from the History Channel now. It featured to name a few, Joe Kulis, Jack Jonas, Jonas Supply, Wilderness Fur Dressers, Mike Kirkhart, the Field Museum staff, and of course my all time favorites, the original Denver Jonas Bros., Coloman, John, Guy, Leslie and Louis and of course the star of the show, Carl Akeley who without his inspirations and legacy to emulate, there would be no Four Seasons Deer Group in Chicago's Field Museum or African Hall in the AMNH. Come to think of it, FANTASTIC is the proper word to describe these masters after all. Glad you enjoyed the show!
     
  12. Tom Cruickshank

    Tom Cruickshank The History Channel says I'm "creepy"!!

    Uhhhmmmm JJ, weren't YOU on that show too?
     
  13. John Janelli

    John Janelli New Member

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    That must've been my twin brother Crusty, LOL!!! Seriously many people could have done much better than me on that show, but nobody could've loved doing it more than I. Would you believe I have almost 9 hours of taped interviews that were cut from the show because of time? It all started with a phone call to NTA headquarters. The rest as they say, was 'history'.
     
  14. Yes!!!! That is it! Wow!! Modern Marvels - Taxidermy - I caught it on tv I think sometime last winter, I kicked myself for not taping it after it re-aired soon again after that, it was great.. it's good to know its available at the History Channel site!
    Brandon - It may give you a fresh look at Taxidermy history. It does have a lot of info, and the visuals and footage of everything really make it worth catching, so I do recommend it.
    http://shop.history.com/detail.php?p=68530&v=history_show_modern-marvels&SESSID=6710764b4c62474d56cd73a6b980ef96
     
  15. Scherzer

    Scherzer New Member

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    Wow!!
    You guys have gave me soo much information i cant believe it.
    I will be looking forward to that Modern Marvels to come in the mail soon.
    And Taxi Girl i will probably be e mailing you for that paper.lol
     
  16. taxi_grl_ga

    taxi_grl_ga Active Member

    sounds good! Glad to help :)
     
  17. coon hunter

    coon hunter Truman Waddell 270-589-7828 Brownsville Ky

    This may help ,

    http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,121466.0.html
     
  18. Scherzer

    Scherzer New Member

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    Thanks Coon Hunter this will help me allot.
    Brandon
     
  19. coon hunter

    coon hunter Truman Waddell 270-589-7828 Brownsville Ky

    Your welcome. Glad I could help. ;)
     
  20. Scherzer

    Scherzer New Member

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    Well everyone,
    Thanks for all the help you have given me for this project and i want to especially thank John Janelli for all the info he has gave me for this project. I will be presenting this tomorrow and i will be sure to post the results as soon as i get them back.
    Brandon :)