Tipu’s Tiger

Life size 18th century automaton of tiger eating European man from the Victoria and Albert Museum Life size 18th century automaton of tiger eating European man from the Victoria and Albert Museum (detail of face) Life size 18th century automaton of tiger eating European man from the Victoria and Albert Museum (detail of inner workings)Tipu’s (or Tippoo’s) Tiger is a life-sized wooden mechanical organ made around 1793, depicting a tiger mauling a man in European clothing. When the crank is turned, a hidden mechanism causes the man’s arm to goes up and down, and plays his wails of agony along the growls of the tiger. Under a flap on the tiger’s body there is also a small pipe organ, which can play 18 notes. Continue reading

The life of New Zealand’s latest criminal celebrity: the ridiculously photogenic Daniel Tohill (Lohill)

Mug shot of Daniel Lohill, thief.

Daniel Tohill (incorrectly labelled as Daniel Lohill), born in 1881 in New Zealand. Charged with theft and sentenced to 4 months hard labor on 2 March 1908 in Napier. Photograph taken on 11 June 1908 by the New Zealand Police; image via the archives  of the New Zealand Police Museum.

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Cleaning the elephant skin

Museum staff cleaning an elephant skin at the American Museum of Natural History, June 1933.

Museum staff cleaning an elephant skin at the American Museum of Natural History, June 1933. Image: Thane L. Bierwert, via the archives of the American Museum of Natural History, New York.

Museum staff cleaning an elephant skin at the American Museum of Natural History, June 1933.

Museum staff cleaning the skin of an elephant at the American Museum of Natural History, June 1933. Image: Thane L. Bierwert, via the archives of the American Museum of Natural History, New York.

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