Monthly Archives: March 2014

Hornaday and the Camp Fire Club of America

Letter from Hornaday to Elihu Root, 1910. Hornaday Wildlife Scrapbook Collection, Vol. 4. WCS Archives Collection 1007.

The brainchild of friends William T. Hornaday and George O. Shields, the Camp Fire Club of America was conceived as a social club–an opportunity for men who loved the outdoors to gather together regularly as they would around a campfire. In particular, Hornaday and Shields (Editor of Recreation magazine, who served briefly in a lobbying role for the New York Zoological Society) intended the CFCA as an outlet for sportsmen who did not meet the high standards of wealth, power, and social ranking required by the Boone and Crockett Club.  [See our earlier post on the B&C Club.]  Continue reading

‘The most wonderful of all living mammals’

2016-BZ-Events-1947-PlatypusaryExhibitInvitation.jpgIn 1922, the Bronx Zoo displayed the first duck-billed platypus to be shown live in a zoo outside of Australia.  That was the last platypus to be seen in the United States for the next quarter century, until the Bronx Zoo again exhibited platypuses in April 1947.  The Bronx Zoo’s parent organization, the New York Zoological Society, had begun working with the famed Australian naturalist David Fleay to acquire platypuses in the winter of 1945-1946. The original hope was to display the platypuses that summer, but several factors thwarted this plan.  Capture and shipping difficulties, a threatened maritime strike, and a housing shortage that led the US government to ban all non-housing construction ultimately led the Society to call off the acquisition until the following year. Continue reading