The Dream City, Paul V. Galvin 
Digital History Collection
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  THE ELEPHANT HIDE - In the north end of the main floor of the Shoe and Leather Building at Jackson Park, the hide of an African elephant was displayed in the manner shown by the engraving. It will be seen that the hide extends well around on the other side of the post and partitions. On the board or sign was the following statement which, for convenience, is here copied: "Elephant Hide - the largest in the world; green weight, eight hundred pounds; tanned weight, five hundred pounds, taking two years to tan. Length from tip of trunk to end of tail, twenty feet; greatest width, sixteen feet; greatest thickness, three inches. This hide was tanned for polishing leather by Hans Rees' Sons, 17 and 19 Ferry Street, New York City." The tail may be seen extending along the beam, and the trunk extends up the post. This hide may perhaps be called the chief object of popular interest in the Shoe and Leather Building, and it happened that the next most interesting feature to the masses was an automaton of an old cobbler near by, who sewed a sole, and discoursed by pantomime on the comity of nations, the decline of philosophy, the folly of making a shoe in fifteen minutes as they were doing upstairs in the gallery, and the want of respect for old age, as shown by the young, all emphasized by nods and motions that were grotesque and pleasing.
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Digital History Collection
Page created: August 26, 1998