Zoo Letterhead: Midwestern U.S. 1962-1971

Letterhead-USMidwest-008-Cincinnati-a-CroppedForThumbnailHere’s the third post in our series on graphic design in letterhead. This installment features stationery from zoos and aquaria in the U. S. Midwest, and includes multiple examples from a couple of zoos: Cincinnati Zoo appears to have had multiple letterheads in the early 1960s, and both it and Cleveland Zoo redesigned their stationery at some point in the decade.

I must admit that I prefer the whimsy of Cincinnati and Cleveland Zoos’ early 1960s designs to their late-1960s counterparts.

 

1a & b.  Cincinnati Zoo

Cincinnati Zoological Park / Zoological Society of Cincinnati, December 7, 1962 – Lion

Cincinnati Zoological Park, December 11, 1962 - Kangaroo

Cincinnati Zoological Park / Zoological Society of Cincinnati, December 11, 1962 – Kangaroo

 

2. Zoological Society of Cincinnati, a decade later

Zoological Society of Cincinnati, July 1971

Zoological Society of Cincinnati, July 1971

 

3. The (old) Cleveland Aquarium, not to be confused with the new Greater Cleveland Aquarium

Cleveland Aquarium, June 1962

Cleveland Aquarium, June 1962

 

4. Cleveland Zoological Society, former parent organization and current membership arm of the Cleveland Zoo (which is now the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo), early 1960s

Cleveland Zoological Society, October 1963

Cleveland Zoological Society, October 1963

 

5. Cleveland Zoological Society, late 1960s

Cleveland Zoological Society, February 1969

Cleveland Zoological Society, February 1969

Not reproduced is the reverse of the stationery sheet, where most of the  Zoo’s trustee listing, other than the executive board, was moved. (The bleed-through is faintly visible in the image.)

 

6. Fort Wayne Zoological Society (parent organization of the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo)

Fort Wayne Zoological Society, February 1971

Fort Wayne Zoological Society, February 1971

 

7. Indianapolis Zoo

Indianapolis Zoological Society, February 1963

Indianapolis Zoological Society, February 1963

Note that this letter was written before the Zoo’s opening date, in April 1964.

 

8.  Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoological Society, October 1963

Lincoln Park Zoological Society, October 1963

While many zoos–including the Bronx Zoo–are founded by their sponsoring zoological societies, the Lincoln Park Zoological Society was founded several decades after its zoo had opened.

 

9. Shedd Aquarium, Chicago

John G. Shedd Aquarium, December 1962

John G. Shedd Aquarium, December 1962

How the American Bison Became Our National Mammal

Bison at the Bronx Zoo being crated for transport to the Wichita Forest  and Game Preserve (now known as the Wichita Mountains Wildlife  Reserve), October 1907. William Hornaday appears on the left.  WCS Photo Collection

Bison at the Bronx Zoo being crated for transport to the Wichita Forest and Game Preserve (now known as the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Reserve), October 1907. William Hornaday appears on the left. WCS Photo Collection

This week, President Obama signed a law making the bison the US’s first national mammal.  To celebrate this momentous event, we’re looking back on the history of protection for the American bison with a blog post over on Medium.  Check it out here:

http://medium.com/@WCS/how-the-american-bison-became-our-national-mammal-eace49467768#.qva9dat56

WCS NDSR Project Post: “{Let’s Get Digital} Recap”

Our NDSR Resident, Genevieve Havemeyer-King, was recently one of the organizers of a free, all-day symposium on digital preservation held under the auspices of the Metropolitan New York Library Council, the Archivists Round Table of New York, and the Brooklyn Historical Society.

As an attendee, I can say that the event was a rousing success!  In her latest post on the NDSR-NY Resident blog, Genevieve showcases the day’s highlights and links to slides and other resources from the presentations and workshops:

http://ndsr.nycdigital.org/lets-get-digital-recap/

Check it out!

The African Plains: “A New Vista to the Wonders of Nature”

“A new vista to the wonders of Nature.”  This is how New York Zoological Society President Fairfield Osborn described the brand new African Plains exhibit when it opened at the Bronx Zoo 75 years ago next week, on May 1, 1941.  The exhibit—with its bringing together of several African species, including lions, zebras, nyalas, and many birds, into an expansive savannah landscape—was indeed a new vista for the Zoo.  Whereas previous Bronx Zoo exhibits were conceived around animal orders or families—what Osborn referred to as “man-made classification”—and often indoors—think of the old Lion House, the Monkey House—the African Plains brought together animals based on geography, and it placed them in a naturalistic setting.

Predators and prey are separated by discrete moats in the African Plains exhibit, 1941. WCS Photo Collection

Predators and prey are separated by discreet moats in the African Plains exhibit, 1941. WCS Photo Collection

For Osborn, in the context of the Society’s history, the opening of the African Plains was “not only notable in itself… but in what it means for the future.”  As he continued in the May/June 1941 issue of the Zoological Society Bulletin, “We have crossed a bridge and burned it behind us.  A turning point in the development of the Zoo has not only been reached but passed.  It is the beginning of the end of exhibiting our animal collections behind bars.”  Osborn went on to intuit that it would be several years before this major transition in zoo design would take place.  In fact, plans for a second phase of the African Plains, which was to include elephants, giraffes, and primates, were only partially realized with the development of the giraffe range several years later.  And while the Society had the architects of the African Plains, W. K. Harrison & J. A. Foulihoux, draw up a new Bronx Zoo master plan in 1941 to incorporate other continent-based exhibits, these continental areas were not developed until decades later and in different areas of the Zoo.  Still, the African Plains set the stage for other acclaimed exhibits like Wild Asia (opened in 1977), JungleWorld (opened in 1985), and Congo (opened in 1999).

NYZS postcard featuring the entrance to the African Plains exhibit, circa 1940s. WCS Archives Collection 2016

NYZS postcard featuring the entrance to the African Plains exhibit, circa 1940s. WCS Archives Collection 2016

Actually, other zoos had experimented much earlier with the African Plains’ style of naturalistic, bar-less enclosures, but what was pioneering about the African Plains was its intention to display the ecological relationships among animals and their natural environments.  Showing this ecological interdependence was central to Osborn’s vision for the Bronx Zoo.  A leading conservationist of the period, Osborn saw the African Plains exhibit as an educational tool for making the public aware of the need to protect not only wildlife but also the places in which they lived—a vision that continues to guide zoo design today.

Crowds gathered during the exhibit's opening month, May 1941. WCS Photo Collection

Crowds gathered during the exhibit’s opening month, May 1941. WCS Photo Collection

Osborn also believed that the exhibit was an important reminder to zoo visitors of the goodness of nature—a reminder that he felt was especially needed while the war escalated across Europe.  In his opening day address, a copy of which is held in the WCS Archives, he told the gathered crowd, “We are here to greet this sight, and millions of others will do likewise before the year is out, grateful for an hour of recreation, snatched from these troubled days.  We can be refreshed for a while from the spectacle of Man’s cruel and needless destruction of himself.”  As he exhorted, “We should have no patience with those unthinking persons who rant than Man, in his present cruelties, is reverting to primitive nature—to the so-called law of the jungle.  No greater falsehood could be spoken.  Nature knows no such horrors.”  He went on to condemn Hitler, saying that “whatever battles he may win, [he] is bound to lose in the end.  Man’s age-long insistence on freedom for the individual isn’t anything in the world but the straight, pure, unadulterated urge of any higher mammal.  Add to that Man’s spirit and soul.”  Nature, for Osborn, offered a powerful lesson for the war’s outcome: “The totalitarian system may be found among ants and bees—it is impossible for Man!”

African Plains opening day invitation, 1941. WCS Archives Collection 2016

African Plains opening day invitation, 1941. WCS Archives Collection 2016

The crowds gathered on that opening day heard from Osborn and Parks Commissioner Robert Moses, and Mayor LaGuardia performed the official opening.  Others at the event included the German opera star Frieda Hempel, who sang the National Anthem.  (There’s been no evidence of whether the exhibit’s anonymous benefactor–later revealed to be department store owner Marshall Field–was in attendance, but one suspects he was.)  Among those covering the event were CBS journalists, who reported on the event from a wooden crate placed inside the lion exhibit.

And all those seeking Osborn’s “hour of recreation,” and, he would hope, developing a new appreciation for the interconnectedness of the natural world, would indeed visit the African Plains: on the Sunday after the exhibit’s opening, nearly 85,000 visitors attended the Bronx Zoo—the largest single day’s attendance since the Zoo’s opening in 1899.

Crowds gathered during the opening month of the African Plains, May 1941. WCS Photo Collection

Crowds gathered during the exhibit’s opening month, May 1941. WCS Photo Collection

Have you been to the African Plains?  Do you think that Osborn’s vision is realized in it?  Are you surprised to know that it is 75 years old?

WCS NDSR Project Post: “Trojan Dots and DIY Solutions”

Our National Digital Stewardship Resident here at the WCS Archives,  Genevieve Havemeyer-King, has another post  on the NDSR-NY Program blog:

http://ndsr.nycdigital.org/trojan-dots-and-diy-solutions/

In this post Genevieve talks about her takeaways from a recent conference and describes one of the smallest challenges we’ve faced so far—so tiny, in fact, that we nearly didn’t see it!

Check it out!

The ‘Rubbish War’: Hornaday’s Home-Town Campaign

Wildlife Conservation Society_005575_Waste Paper East of Bronx River_BZ_05 00 12-watermarkedAt the Bronx Zoo the approach of Spring brings warmer weather, and thus increasing crowds enjoying the park.  As the season progresses the Horticulture, Maintenance, and Operations Departments, as well as various others, all find themselves increasingly busy with the work of keeping the Zoo presentable.  A century ago these departments’ predecessors also joined the fight to maintain the grounds.  During the early 20th Century, however, Director William Hornaday, treating the efforts to keep the Zoo clean like one of his conservation campaigns, gave what he called ‘The Rubbish War’ a hyperbolic air not seen in today’s spring cleanings.

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Zoo Letterhead – Western U.S., 1956-1971

Letterhead-USWestZoos-005-RioGrandePark-redacted-CroppedContinuing our series on graphic design in letterhead, this installment features stationery from zoos and aquaria in the western United States during the mid 1950s – early 1970s.   (Letterhead from the late 19th and early 20th centuries is the subject of another post!)

Which is your favorite?  (You can right-click on the images to open them in new tabs and examine them more closely.)

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WCS NDSR Project Post: “Blurred Lines, Shapes, and Polygons,” parts 1 and 2

Genevieve Havemeyer-King, the National Digital Stewardship Resident here at the WCS Archives,  has recently published a two-part post at the Library of Congress’s digital preservation blog, “The Signal”:

Part 1: http://blogs.loc.gov/digitalpreservation/2016/02/blurred-lines-shapes-and-polygons-part-1-an-ndsr-ny-project-update/

Part 2: http://blogs.loc.gov/digitalpreservation/2016/02/blurred-lines-shapes-and-polygons-part-2-an-interview-with-frank-donnelly-geospatial-data-librarian/

Genevieve’s series of blog posts documenting her time at WCS continue here with a discussion of the complexities of preserving geospatial data and an interview with Frank Donnelly, the GIS Librarian at Baruch College (CUNY).

Check it out!

100 Years of Field Research at WCS

Theodore Roosevelt and his wife Edith were the first visitors to Kalacoon. Beebe is seated at the far end of the table, Mrs Roosevelt is seated nearest the camera and President Roosevelt is next to her. WCS Photo Collection

Why?  According to William Beebe, why was “the question which makes all science worthwhile.” Why, for instance, do tinamous of the genus Tinamus have rough skin on their lower legs while tinamous of the genus Crypturus have smooth skin?  Why do hoatzin populations seem to gather in nodes rather than being found throughout tropical forests?

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