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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • UNFAIR TO BABIES, 1936

The Long Tail: 1931

The Long Tail: 1931

1931. Washington, D.C. "Man holding long snake skin." The fellow last seen here. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Shiny Snake

Somewhere in the Reptile House is a nice shiny snake having shed its old skin. A shed skin is actually larger than the snake since the skin will stretch a bit during shedding, which sounds a bit counter-intuitive since snakes shed when their skin is too small.

Snakes Alive! (or not)

I don't know how it would compare to the featured snake skin, but in the 1940s my dad snapped this photo in his hometown West Virginia pool hall, of a rattlesnake that was killed nearby with a shotgun. The (pelt?) was 14 feet long. I wouldn't have wanted to meet that one in the woods, or even the smaller one below it.

The National Zoo's Reptile House opened in 1931.

His cap reads NZP (National Zoological Park) so I'm going to assume he was either a janitor or a zookeeper there. With the Reptile House opening in 1931, I'd assume this and the other shot were probably taken in celebration of the opening of the new building.

If you look really closely, you can see the trim on the moulding along the roof is oddly shaped - the Reptile House at the National Zoo has stonework reptile heads running the length of the roofline in the same manner, so I'm guessing it's the same building.

[If you look even closer, you'll see that EXHIBITION BUILDING FOR REPTILES sign. - Dave]

Looks like things didn't turn out too well for that snake

since their last encounter.

What happened

between the two photos? I really want to know the full story.

I can't believe ...

he ate the whole thing!

Tell it to the judge

When recaptured, the escaped convict tried to explain that there was no snake inside the skin when he found it. A likely tail.

Just wondering!

I didn't know what was so special about that hose!

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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