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Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by Bruce Foster, Oct 8, 2006.

  1. Bruce Foster

    Bruce Foster Guest

    Stephen.......you comment on Cellulose in a previous post brought up a question to me....I was always intrigued at the early use in museum preparation of Cellulose for complete "hair transfer" and lifelike skin reproduction used with great results early on in exhibition mounts........the Lowland Gorilla mount at the AMNH comes to mind.......seems this method was used to reproduce the face, with incredable results, in primate mounts....I have looked for more info on this procedure, and the materials used in the process.......unfortunately, very little could be found........maybe you would have some information to research on this........I would love to get more information if you can help
  2. The Taxidermologist

    The Taxidermologist New Member

    I'm not sure where I typed it, But the material was Cellulose acetate - an early material similar to fiberglass. I'll try to remember to get my references at work tommorrow. I'm not sure what specimens at the AMNH were done with hair transference, but the Field Museum in Chicago had a very celebrated specimen of gorilla, and an orangutan which looks stunning. The Gorilla done by Akeley was not done this way, and is infact not good compared to the methods done just a few years after Akeley perished in Africa.

    Our Museum has a specimen of gorilla done that way. Here is a paragraph of a manuscript I have in draft concerning the history of taxidermy at Carnegie Museum

    "Otto Epping intended on creating a world class Gorilla mount, as it was to be a central figure in a long-planned African Hall utilizing many of the African mounts done by Remi and Joseph Santens. The method to be employed had been developed in the 1920’s at the Field Museum in Chicago and referred to as Walters method. In traditional taxidermy in animals which had large bare areas, despite creating a realistic manikin, there are certain limitations when using the original hide. Areas of the face, hands and feet in primates have minute wrinkles and folds, even fingerprints and skin blemishes. The sparsely haired areas, as well as bare areas, are difficult to recreate under close scrutiny. The Walters method, uses material applied to these areas, much like a life mask, capturing the minute details of the area. Then the skin is rotted off leaving the hairs embedded in the mold with the roots of the hairs sticking out into the opening where the skin had been. The next step was to pour a fiberglass type material into the mold and capture the hairs in the exact position they had been in. The outside mold was then removed leaving an exact replica of the head. Epping, and an another taxidermist he had met while working at the Carnegie Museum, Danny Oplinger, used the Walters technique to create a fabulous Gorilla Mount."

    American Taxidermist had an article written by Otto in an old issue January February 1981, Volume 14(5):4-7,9-11. Numerous pictures...

    Bruce - you have to quit using the title "Taxidermologist", don't you know I'm fake...
    did you see my comments on the green heron - finally had time to say something.

  3. Bruce Foster

    Bruce Foster Guest

    Stephen...........I stand corrected.....maybe the article you are referring to is the one I read on this method........I know it was about Cellulose, and its use on a Lowland Gorilla mount..there was a picture of the taxidermist next to the finished mount........you may be correct, in the Chicago Museum rather than the AMNH.......my post was by memory only.......and that is surely slipping away.......selective more like it......anyway, if you can find any info on the process, I would love to get my fat hands on them........thanks