Bizarre Vintage Taxidermy and the People Who Love Posing with It

We scrounged the Chicago Field Museum's archives for these delightful black and white photos of researchers and the dead, stuffed animals that made their lives worth living.

  1. 1

    1905: Richard Raddatz, staff preparator, posing with specimen of Alligator Gar fish at the Field Columbian Museum.

  2. 2

    1928: Dr. Wilfred Osgood holding the horns on the skull of a Giant Sable antelope Hippotragus niger variani collected by big game hunter and naturalist explorer, Arthur Vernay.

  3. 3

    1950: George Langford in laboratory examining fossil plant specimens laid out on his desk.

  4. 4

    1954: Miss Nancy Robertson, (left) and Orville “Gilly” Gilpin in Geology prep laboratory area unpacking crates containing the Gorgosaurus [from American Museum of Natural History] and examining the bones.

  5. 5

    1959: Woman painting finishing touches on the Arizona Meteor Crater painting.

  6. 6

    1955: Woman and Vesta, World’s first transparent dog. Vesta was made for the Gaines dog research center of New York and toured America during the 1950s. She was on display at the Field Museum from July 15-Sept. 15, 1955.

  7. 7

    1947: Mrs. Helen Moyer holding a large model of an eel.

  8. 8

    1938: Man holding frilled shark.

  9. 9

    1946: Leon Walters in 4th floor exhibits taxidermy workshop, working on a head of a Lesser Kudu.

  10. 10

    1951: Leon Walters sculpting the reconstruction of the hand while processing taxidermy of Bushman, the famous Lincoln Park Zoo gorilla. The hands and feet were made from celluloid via a process invented by Walters.

  11. 11

    1951: Unpacking of the Field Museum's South American and Oriental Fish Collection.

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