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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • NORWAY IN SEPTEMBER, c. 1920s

Consul Peter: 1909

Consul Peter: 1909

1909. "Consul Peter smoking." Peter, "famous monkey of the Parisian music halls," was an act at Oscar Hammerstein's Paradise Roof Garden in New York. As the subject of "Consul Crosses the Atlantic," he was also perhaps the first chimp movie star. George Grantham Bain Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

The Titanic

Imagine if he'd been aboard that White Star ship. Hijinks ensue.

Monkey Suit

The animal rights activists might have groused about Consul Peter's cigar, but they'd have to admit that he had a superb tailor. Notice how well that double-breasted coat fits smoothly around his shoulders. His attendant's alligator handbag would have sent annoyed them too.

Paging PETA

Even though Consul Peter's cigar is uncut and unlit, PETA, had it existed, would have thrown a conniption fit over this picture. Now, there are few places left where people are allowed to smoke the things.

Adriatic

Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES.
June 17, 1909, Thursday

Oscar was returning on the White Star Line with his "star" (NYT, second item).

[This is about Oscar's uncle Arthur. Who was coming back with a contract for an appearance by Consul Peter, who was not on the boat since he was performing in London. - Dave]

To Paraphrase Churchill...

"Never trust a monkey without vices."

 
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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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