"These animals make a peculiarly plaintive cry when molested in any way": 1901's amazing, disturbing Living Animals of the World
The Living Animals of the World: A Popular Natural History Magazine
Publisher: Dodd, Mead & Co.
Discovered at: Antique mall
The Back Cover Promises: "This work was three years in preparation; everything has been done to make it PERFECT IN EVERY WAY."
"A splendid snapshot of two black African rhinoceroses taken on the open veldt. They were afterwards shot by the party."
"The Capuchins are, in the writer's opinion, the nicest of all monkeys."First things first, here's what happened to that rhino:
A remarkable achievement in late Victorian publishing, The Living Animals of the World was once the most thorough popular guide to global wildlife: a laivishly illustrated periodical that brought the world to the reading public at the rate of one dime for every forty pages -- and half dozen or so species. Today, it stands today as a vital reminder of a time when the documentation of animals in their native habitat was mostly left to the men who had come to kill them.
Perhaps that explains this Very Special Photo Caption:
I'll let you draw your own conclusions about the above images. (That is, after I point out that the editors never pose a "negro boy" with a tapir or bunny.) But then, I ask: what context might possibly justify this?
On to more pleasant things! Skittish animals posed such difficulty that photographers were forever searching for innovative techniques.