Here is the twentieth weekly digest for Animal History Daily, which I'm running on Twitter (@hannahvelten) every day for 2014. Using the #AHD tag, I find random titbits of animal history from the British Newspaper Archive (@BNArchive) on the appropriate day, from any year (generally the 1800s)
IMAGES OF THE WEEK
'The only one-rail tram of its kind in England' - Canvey Island, 1902
The first Essex monorail appeared during the Summer of 1902, linking the ferry landing stage at Benfleet Creek to the new pier and esplanade. It only ran for a short time.
I love the difference between the planned version (left) and the actual version (below) - that poor horse... more info here
This week's #AHD offerings:
Cattle on the quays, the Tower of London menagerie, a talking canary, a bull in a river, a May storm, a lame elephant and a pathetic dog.
14th May - 1884: Nearly 1400 cattle backlog at Glasgow slaughterhouse after docking of steamers from US; temporary byres on quays as trade slows (Edinburgh Evening News)
15th May - 1826: Menagerie Royal, Tower of London - It is impossible sufficiently to eulogise the activity of the Keeper, Mr Cops, in... providing for public inspection so many beautiful specimens of savage nature, in addition to those belonging to his MAJESTY (Morning Post) *
16th May - 1839: 'The Living Talking Canary... He is certainly one of the rarest exhibitions among the many rare things with which London abounds.' (Morning Chronicle)
17th May - 1930: Bull in Derby River - frightened by youths playing cricket, dashed into river, swam & floundered, 2 men kicked while try to help (Derby Daily Telegraph) **
18th May - OTD 1943: 30 cattle perished in fields or drowned in small part of Aberdeenshire when most severe May storm in living memory hit (Aberdeen Journal)
19th May - 1888: RSPCA case vs Sanger's Circus for cruelly making lame elephant travel in London: from Westminster to Blackfriars... to St. Paul's Railway Station, to Alridge's Sale Room, where to be sold. But not taken in & then onto Victoria Railway Station... to be sent back to Sanger's in Margate but company not take it in and driven to London Bridge. Owner charged £5 (Manchester Courier) ***
20th May - 1910: One of the most pathetic figures in today's procession (funeral of Edward VII) was the King's dog, Caesar, led by a Highlander (Hull Daily Mail - below)
* More information about the 'spirited exertions of Mr Cops' can be read in 'Memoirs of the Tower of London' (1830) by Britton & Brayley (via Google books, pp.362-3)
** The bull managed to get out of the river and returned to its field - the two men escaped serious injury
*** The elephant was called 'Poonah' and travelled around London at about half a mile an hour.
Hannah Velten - author of