Monday, March 19, 2012

Hebe And Young America 1880

CDV photograph of the first known elephant calf to be born in captivity in the world, the property of Messrs Cooper & Bailey(of the later Barnum and Bailey Circus). Born in Philadelphia March 10, 1880, weight 214 lbs., height 35 in., sex female, keeper in charge, Prof. Geo. Arstingstall. Young America's name was later changed to Little Columbia. Columbia was euthanized in 1907 after becoming aggressive. Sad fate for America's first........

FYI--CDV photography from Wikipedia:
The carte de visite (abbreviated CdV or CDV, and also spelled carte-de-visite or erroneously referred to as carte de ville) was a type of small photograph which was patented in Paris, France by photographer Andre Adolphe Eugene Disderi in 1854, although first used by Louis Dodero. It was usually made of an albumen print, which was a thin paper photograph mounted on a thicker paper card. The size of a carte de visite is 54.0 mm (2.125 in) × 89 mm (3.5 in) mounted on a card sized 64 mm (2.5 in) × 100 mm (4 in). In 1854, Disdéri had also patented a method of taking eight separate negatives on a single plate, which reduced production costs. The Carte de Visite was slow to gain widespead use until 1859, when Disdéri published Emperor Napoleon III's photos in this format. This made the format an overnight success, and the new invention was so popular it was known as "cardomania" and eventually spread throughout the world.

Each photograph was the size of a visiting card, and such photograph cards became enormously popular and were traded among friends and visitors. The immense popularity of these card photographs led to the publication and collection of photographs of prominent persons. "Cardomania" spread throughout Europe and then quickly to America. Albums for the collection and display of cards became a common fixture in Victorian parlors.

By the early 1870s, cartes de visite were supplanted by "cabinet cards," which were also usually albumen prints, but larger, mounted on cardboard backs measuring 110 mm (4.5 in) by 170 mm (6.5 in). Cabinet cards remained popular into the early 20th century, when Kodak introduced the Brownie camera and home snapshot photography became a mass phenomenon.


Bob Cline said...

I learned about this earlier birth from Richard Reynolds III. After researching it, this is the part I have in my book, America's Elephants in Chapter 12.

Before most historians ever recorded a live elephant birth in the United States, the Howe‟s Great London Circus, Hippodrome, and Sangor‟s English Menagerie had the distinct pleasure of stopping in St. Joseph, MO. on May 30, 1875 to unload a very uncomfortable elephant. She was taken to the Fairgrounds where she could be bedded down in comfort. She was attended to by one of the circus staff who remained behind with her while the show continued on its way. They would return to St. Joseph a few days later. In the mean time, this huge and uncomfortable elephant was relieved of all her misery the very next day when she proceeded to deliver a bouncing baby boy elephant. The baby was named “Joe” in honor of the town of St. Joseph. Unfortunately, this baby must not have lived very long as nothing has been found in the press after the show left St. Joseph to further document the existence of this new found wonder.

Incidentally, this breeding pair would also become the ones referenced above with your photo 5 years later.

I have a Newspaper ad that states in 1880, VICTORIA is soon to become a mother. VICTORIA was the only female in the Howe's herd. We then know her to be called HEBE.


Wade G. Burck said...

Great stuff, thank you for sharing. The changing of names has caused as much confusion with elephants as the origin of circus wagons. Why don't you tell folks where they can order your book, America's Elephants.


Bob Cline said...

OK. You can find it on or on my website at

Its an electronic reader or e-Book and not a printed version. I would love to get it in print but that is a couple thousand dollars I don't have.