"These animals make a peculiarly plaintive cry when molested in any way": 1901's amazing, disturbing Living Animals of the World

Categories: Studies in Crap
Each Thursday, your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from basements, thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets. I do this for one reason: Knowledge is power.

The Living Animals of the World: A Popular Natural History Magazine

Date: 1901
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."

Representative Quotes:
"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:

Captured on film: the invention of the loveseat!

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:

Since even the cuddliest, most Ed Asner-looking of animals had come to fear photogrpahers, it's little surprise that many of the photos in my three issues of Living Mammals are of animals freshly killed.

Or of animals long domesticated.

Sometimes, your Crap Archivist receives pissy, touchy e-mails from white people angered up by my occasional insinuations that the American past might be somewhat racist. "That was a different time," they carp. Or: "You're taking things out of context."

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?

Please, next time you see your great-great grandfather thank him for building a kick-ass country . . . and then punch him in the mouth.

On to more pleasant things! Skittish animals posed such difficulty that photographers were forever searching for innovative techniques.

For the sake of saving American jobs, please keep this idea from the bigwigs over at the Sears Portrait Studio.

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