Vintage Zoo Books Show Shift In Human Behavior: IMAGES


The Smithsonian Institution Libraries recently put together a collection of zoo pamphlets from days gone by, and as Live Science notes, the imagery, including pictures of elephants giving small children a ride and chimps being carted around in a baby carriage, show how humans have over the past five decades changed how zoos operate:

The vintage materials reveal how much zoos have changed from amusement-park-like attractions to more educational, conservation-minded institutions. A guide to Great Britain's Clifton Zoological Gardens from 1912, for example, shows prison-like animal enclosures encased in heavy bars... The New York Zoological Park guide, published in 1905, has photographs of orangutans sitting around a table draped with a white tablecloth, mimicking a family dinner.

"Some of the photographs of animal enclosures, restraint devices and mock theatrics, while unsettling to some, are an important part of the history of human-animal relations," wrote Alvin Hutchinson, the head of information services at Smithsonian Libraries, in an introduction to the collection.

I've included some images AFTER THE JUMP, and you can check out the whole collection at the SIL website.








Posted May 31, 2012 at 11:28am ETC by Andrew Belonsky
in science