FALVEY MEMORIAL LIBRARY

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Taxidermy

Taxidermy




 

Black Duck Stereogram

Stereogram, Black Duck. Hurst's Stereoscopic Studies of Natural History: For Object Teaching in Schools and Parlor Entertainments, 1870, front cover, 1870, Hurst, James A., published by Hurst & Sons

James Hurst published a series of stereograms depicting taxidermied animals in prepared natural poses or amusing scenes. This example, taken from Hurst's "First Series (North American)" collection, presents an example of an animal in a more or less accurate environmental setting.

Click here for a GIF version of the stereogram, which provides an approximation of how the image would appear when viewed through a stereoscope. Stereographic viewing: 3D movies, the early years.

 

 

Crowded room at a fashionable watering place

Stereogram, Crowded room at a fashionable watering place. Hurst's Stereoscopic Studies of Natural History: For Object Teaching in Schools and Parlor Entertainments, 1870, 1870, Hurst, James A., published by Hurst & Sons

In contrast to the example above, this stereogram (taken from Hurst's "Second Series (Miscellaneous)" collection) shows an amusing scene in which stuffed animals are posed in a human context. Hurst's stereogram series accurately represent the popular view of natural history at the time: a mixture of formal study and informal amusement.

 

 

Amateur Taxidermy

How to Stuff Birds and Animals: a Valuable Book Giving Instruction in Collecting, Preparing, Mounting, and Preserving Birds, Animals, and Insects, front cover, 1890, published by Frank Tousey: New York, USA

The cover illustration of this how-to book depicts a variety of animals in various states of preservation, including an owl, a rabbit, a snake, and a heron. By the 1870s, instruction manuals for the capture, killing, and stuffing of animals were in wide circulation for young boys.[1] Collections of small- or medium-sized animals allowed young people to observe and learn about the natural world around them, thus providing both entertainment and study.

 

References

[1] Pets in America, p. 148, 2006, Grier, Katherine C., published by the University of North Carolina Press: Chapel Hill, USA