Z is for Zoo Posters at the Library of Congress

Originally Posted April 2012

Between 1935 and 1943 artists in the Federal Art Project, a program of the Works Project Administration (WPA), created public art and posters to publicize exhibits, community activities, theatrical productions, and health and educational programs. The WPA Poster Collection at the Library of Congress includes over 900 posters including these zoo posters.

During the same years the Federal Writers Project, another program of the WPA, produced the American Guide Series of books and over 1,200 books and pamphlets. One of these books was Who’s Who in the Zoo which is still available from public and university libraries around the world.

The Federal Arts Project produced this poster to promote the book.

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Reflections

Commercial advertising photographer Tom Hussey photographed an award winning campaign for Novartis’ Exelon Patch, a prescription medicine for the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s dementia. The highly conceptual photographs depicted an older person looking at the reflection of their younger self in a mirror.

This is also the final post in the A-Z challenge where I’m supposed to share my personal thoughts on the A-Z challenge. So here are some of mine:

  • I don’t like writing. 
  • I like sharing things I find interesting.
  • It takes a lot of time to pull together an original post on a subject.
  • It’s easier for me to decide to post something when I have a criteria and a deadline.
  • I enjoy reading theme posts but it would be difficult for me to limit my posts to a theme.
  • I’ve started following 5 new blogs through the challenge.
  • I’ve only had time to look at about 200 of the other blogs, but plan on continuing to visit them throughout the year.
  • I like challenges.
  • I really like posting pictures of dogs and historic pictures.
Tom Hussey, who shot the Reflections photographs, also took some amazing photos at a dog show. I’m pretty sure that isn’t a sheep in the picture above but a Bedlington Terrier. You can see more of them here.

Zoo Posters and Book Produced by the WPA

The final post in the April A-Z challenge!

Between 1935 and 1943 artists in the Federal Art Project, a program of the Works Project Administration (WPA), created public art and posters to publicize exhibits, community activities, theatrical productions, and health and educational programs. The WPA Poster Collection at the Library of Congress includes over 900 posters including these zoo posters.

During the same years the Federal Writers Project, another program of the WPA, produced the American Guide Series of books and over 1,200 books and pamphlets. One of these books was Who’s Who in the Zoo which is still available from public and university libraries around the world.

The Federal Arts Project produced this poster to promote the book.

I didn’t have time to get the book from my library system and I couldn’t access the electronic version listed in WorldCat. The only information I was able to find was this review from the October 1937 issue of Bios, published by Beta Beta Beta Biological Society.

Federal Writers’ Project presentation of Who’s who at the zoo, 1938 Sept. 7
Archives of American Art

Yogi Bear and Yellowstone National Park

I know that Yogi is a cartoon bear who lived in an imaginary park named Jellystone,  but every time I hear something about Yellowstone the first thing I think is “That’s where Yogi lives!”

I remember looking at pictures like these from National Geographic magazine

Photograph by Dean Conger
Photograph by Andrew H. Brown

more photos at National Geographic Classic Yellowstone Photo Gallery.

and watching this cartoon on TV.

Somehow the two memories were combined into something close to this article that was published the summer I turned 4. (You can double click on the images to make the article larger if you want to read it.)

images of article via Neato Coolville

Xylophones

“Xylophone is a word one expects to encounter in the x section of any children’s alphabet book. It is there because it is one of the few words beginning with x that a child or most anyone else would know.”
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English  Language, 3rd edition
That’s why when xylophones are mentioned, most people imagine something that looks like this.

 Rather than something that looks like this.

 The Cherry Blossom Cloud by Charles Juhasz-Alvarado has been displayed outside the Mead Center for American Theater in Washington DC as part of this years National Cherry Blossom Festival. Drumsticks were available nearby for passers-by to activate the xylophone by playing a melody or creating their own musical work.

If you can’t remember what a xylophone sounds like you can play a virtual xylophone by clicking here or here. Or you could listen to Gone Daddy Gone by Violent Femmes. Gone Daddy Gone, which features 2 xylophone solos, is from the album also titled Violent Femmes released 29 years ago this month.


I couldn’t find any other songs that I was familiar with that featured a xylophone. The unusual percussion on Under My Thumb by the Rolling Stones is the  marimba.

Winnowing Wild Rice

I live in Minnesota, one of the three states where Northern Wild Rice is grown. I’ve eaten Wild Rice many times and even used to make a Wild Rice Mushroom Casserole on occasion. I found these pictures and had to look up what winnowing meant. It’s described in the last step in  How to Harvest Wild Rice

  • Find a large area inhabited by wild rice and with shallow water that is relatively easy to pole through.
  • Have one person pole the canoe slowly through the wild rice.
  • Have another person knock the stems so the loose spikelets will drop into the canoe bottom. The carpet of rice on the bottom of the canoe will probably be teeming with life including caterpillars, spiders and beetles.
  • Collect the wild rice on a tarp and let the rice dry out (takes about 2-3 days of dry weather).
  • Place the rice in a very large iron pan and parch it over the coals. The trick here is to dry the rice and make the “husks” brittle, but not burn the rice.
  • Once parched, put the rice in a pit lined with a hide.
  • Use the balls of your feet and move your heels left and right, twisting the “hulls” off the grains. 
  • After the rice has been thoroughly treaded on, place it in a large container like those seen in the pictures below.
  • The winnowing is done with a downward motion of the container, which moves all the chaff to the front of the bowl where it can be rather easily removed.

    Winnowing wild rice, Mille Lacs Lake.
    Minnesota Historical Society  Photograph Collection
    Postcard ca. 1909 

    Two women winnowing rice with “nooshkaachinaaganan” (winnowing baskets).
    Photographer: Frances Densmore (1867-1957) 
    Minnesota Historical Society Photograph Collection 
    1910-1918 

    Jim Drift Winnowing Rice, Nett Lake
    Photographer: Monroe P. Killy (1910-2010) 
    Minnesota Historical Society Photograph Collection 
    9/1/1946 


    Vintage Cigarette Slogans

    I came across this quiz a couple of weeks ago. This is my first scheduled post in the month of A-Z posts.


    For each brand, identify the one real slogan. If the choices seem too difficult, don’t lose your cool. Just head over to the lounge for a Pall Mall cigarette. Pall Mall: Wherever particular people congregate.
    I got 9 out of 11 correct for a score of 82%. I’m not sure if having formerly smoked for a number of years helped. I missed one slogan for a brand I smoked for a few years and guessed one slogan correctly for a brand I have never heard of.

    Vintage Ad Browser includes hundreds of tobacco and cigarette ads organized by decade. It’s strange that smoking used to be associated with being athletic.

    Under Construction for 130 Years

    The foundation stone for The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona was laid on March 19, 1882. It has been under construction ever since. The first architect quickly resigned and the commission was handed over to Antoni Gaudí who devoted the last years of his life. This is a picture of The Sagrada Familia from around the time of Gaudi’s death in 1926 when the project was less than a quarter completed.

    After that, the construction proceeded at a very slow pace as it has always been entirely funded through donationsr. These  pictures I took in 2009 show the construction going on then.

    There are now virtual visits of the interior online. I’m amazed at how much has been accomplished in 3 years.

    The Crossing
    The Apse
    Arial View

    Toilet Museums

    There are at least 3 museums in the world whose primary focus is the Toilet. The museums in South Korea and India seem to be more comprehensive than the one in Austria, but both are secondary to the work the founders have done to improve public toilets. The museum in the United States focuses on all aspects of plumbing.

    Mr. Toilet House, South Korea

    When he was mayor of Suwan, South Korea, Sim Jae-duck started a campaign to improve the city’s public toilets and played a major role in the formation of the World Toilet Organization.  To celebrate the birth of the World Toilet Organization he had a new house built that looked like a toilet.

    After he died, his family gave the house to the city of Suwan and is now open to the public as Mr. Toilet House, Suwan’s Toilet Culture Exhibition Hall. Exhibits at the Museum include:

    • Conventional Toilet and Improvement Project
    • Mecca of Toilet Culture Movement
    • Interesting Toilet Story
    • For the Splendid Toilets Around the World

    Museum of Toilets, India

    The Sulabh International Museum of Toilets in New Delhi, India was established to educate and to help improve sanitation standards. The Museum has a rare collection of facts, pictures and objects detailing the historic evolution of toilets from 2,500 BC to date. It gives a chronology of developments relating to technology, toilet related social customs, toilet etiquettes, the sanitary conditions and legislative efforts of the times. It has an extensive display of privies, chamber pots, toilet furniture, bidets and water closets in use from 1145 AD to the modern times. It also has a rare collection of beautiful poems.

    The founder of the museum has received awards from Pope John Paul II, the President of India, the United Nations, and the World Health Organization for his work improving access to  sanitation in India.  

    One of the many Sulabh Toilets spread all across India

    Museum for Historical Sanitation Objects, Austria

     Museum für historische Sanitärobjekte in Gmunden, Austria has over 300 items on display. There isn’t much information on the website which is in German. It’s rated #9 of 20 things to do in Gmunden on  Trip Advisor.

    Pictures of Klo & So - Museum fur historische Sanitarobjekte, Gmunden
    This photo of Klo & So – Museum fur historische Sanitarobjekte is courtesy of TripAdvisor

    The American Sanitary Plumbing Museum, United States

    Charles Manoog began collecting antique commodes  in the 1950s. His son established The American Sanitary Plumbing Museum (aka The Toilet Museum) for these items in 1979 in Worcester, Massachusetts.

    I lived in Worcester from 1964-1972. If the museum would have been there then, I would have seen these items.

    In 2007, items in the museum’s collection were moved to Watertown and are included along with sinks and tubs at The Plumbing Museum

    Seashell Fossils in St. Paul

    450 million years ago, much of the state of Minnesota was over 100 feet under salt water. One place where you can find fossils from this time period is at The Brickyard Area at Lilydale Regional Park in St. Paul.  This illustration from the Fossil Hunting Information Pamphlet, Welcome to Lilydale Regional Park, shows the types of fossils commonly found at Lilydale.

    I really enjoy collecting seashells and thought it might be fun to collect some seashell fossils. But after doing some more research, I quickly realized it would be quite a different experience.

    Before embarking on a fossil hunting expedition, amateur paleontologists must bring the right equipment. For your hunt, pack a geologist’s hammer, a magnifying glass and some protective goggles. Resealable plastic bags, containers lined with cotton, labels and pencils will be useful when fossils are found. Wear hiking boots to prevent your feet and ankles from being injured on rocky, steep terrain. A hat, sunscreen and bug spray protect your skin. A detailed map, GPS or smart phone can lessen the likelihood of getting lost. And don’t forget to bring a first aid kit, just in case. from Fossil Hunting in Minnesota by Lauren Griffin

    Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images



    One not as relaxing or scenic.