P. T. Barnum brought Jumbo the elephant to the USA in 1882, against much outrage in England, where he’d been domiciled previously. Queen Victoria herself was asked to intervene to keep the elephant in England. Her response (if any) is not known but the Great Showman got what he wanted, one way or the other, and Jumbo arrived here, setting off “Jumbomania.” I have an entire series of these cards, with Jumbo dressed up and shown in human guise. Sadly, the elephant was killed in a circus train wreck just three years later, His skeleton is in storage at the American Museum of Natural History as far as I’m aware.
This pose with Jumbo reminds me of the scene from the 1953 movie “Calamity Jane”, where she’s in Chicago, in a theater like this one, watching ‘Adelaid Adams’ and the showgirls sing “Harry”…which might have been in this same Victorian time frame. Here’s the song clip:
OK, back to the trade cards!