Jumbo

Jumbo

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Jumbo was a large African Bush Elephant
African Bush Elephant
The African Bush Elephant or African Savanna Elephant is the larger of the two species of African elephant. Both it and the African Forest Elephant have usually been classified as a single species, known simply as the African Elephant...

, born 1861 in the French Sudan
French Sudan
French Sudan was a colony in French West Africa that had two separate periods of existence, first from 1890 to 1899, then from 1920 to 1960, when the territory became the independent nation of Mali.-Colonial establishment:...

 – present-day Mali
Mali
Mali , officially the Republic of Mali , is a landlocked country in Western Africa. Mali borders Algeria on the north, Niger on the east, Burkina Faso and the Côte d'Ivoire on the south, Guinea on the south-west, and Senegal and Mauritania on the west. Its size is just over 1,240,000 km² with...

 – imported to a Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 zoo, transferred to the London Zoo
London Zoo
London Zoo is the world's oldest scientific zoo. It was opened in London on 27 April 1828, and was originally intended to be used as a collection for scientific study. It was eventually opened to the public in 1847...

 in 1865, and sold in 1882 to P. T. Barnum
P. T. Barnum
Phineas Taylor Barnum was an American showman, businessman, scam artist and entertainer, remembered for promoting celebrated hoaxes and for founding the circus that became the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus....

, for the circus.

The giant elephant's name has spawned the common word "jumbo", meaning large in size.

History


Jumbo was born in 1861 in the French Sudan
French Sudan
French Sudan was a colony in French West Africa that had two separate periods of existence, first from 1890 to 1899, then from 1920 to 1960, when the territory became the independent nation of Mali.-Colonial establishment:...

, whence he was imported to France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and kept in the old zoo
Zoo
A zoological garden, zoological park, menagerie, or zoo is a facility in which animals are confined within enclosures, displayed to the public, and in which they may also be bred....

 Jardin des Plantes
Jardin des Plantes
The Jardin des Plantes is the main botanical garden in France. It is one of seven departments of the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle. It is situated in the 5ème arrondissement, Paris, on the left bank of the river Seine and covers 28 hectares .- Garden plan :The grounds of the Jardin des...

, near the railway station Gare d'Austerlitz
Gare d'Austerlitz
Paris Austerlitz is one of the six large terminus railway stations in Paris. It is situated on the left bank of the Seine in the southeastern part of the city, in the XIIIe arrondissement...

 in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

. In 1865 he was transferred to the London Zoo
London Zoo
London Zoo is the world's oldest scientific zoo. It was opened in London on 27 April 1828, and was originally intended to be used as a collection for scientific study. It was eventually opened to the public in 1847...

, where he became famous for giving rides to visitors, especially children. The London zookeepers gave Jumbo his name; it is likely a variation of one of two Swahili
Swahili language
Swahili or Kiswahili is a Bantu language spoken by various ethnic groups that inhabit several large stretches of the Mozambique Channel coastline from northern Kenya to northern Mozambique, including the Comoro Islands. It is also spoken by ethnic minority groups in Somalia...

 words: jambo, which means "hello" or jumbe, which means "chief".

Jumbo was sold in 1882 to P. T. Barnum
P. T. Barnum
Phineas Taylor Barnum was an American showman, businessman, scam artist and entertainer, remembered for promoting celebrated hoaxes and for founding the circus that became the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus....

, owner of the Barnum & Bailey Circus, known as "The Greatest Show on Earth," for $
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

10,000. When Barnum had offered to buy Jumbo, 100,000 school children wrote to Queen Victoria begging her not to sell the elephant. In New York, Barnum exhibited the elephant at Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden (1879)
Madison Square Garden was an arena in New York City located at East 26th Street and Madison Avenue in Manhattan. The first venue to use that name, it had a seating capacity of 10,000 spectators...

, earning enough from the enormous crowds to recoup the money he spent to buy the animal.

Jumbo's height, estimated to be 3.25 metres (10.7 ft) in the London Zoo, was claimed to be approximately 4 metres (13.1 ft) by the time of his death.




Death


Jumbo died at a railroad classification yard
Classification yard
A classification yard or marshalling yard is a railroad yard found at some freight train stations, used to separate railroad cars on to one of several tracks. First the cars are taken to a track, sometimes called a lead or a drill...

 in St. Thomas, Ontario
St. Thomas, Ontario
St. Thomas is a city in southern , Ontario, Canada. It is the seat for Elgin County and gained its city charter on March 4, 1881.-History:...

, where he was hit and fatally wounded by a locomotive. Barnum afterwards told the story that Jumbo died saving a young circus elephant, Tom Thumb, from being hit by the locomotive, but other witnesses did not support this.

Many metallic objects were found in the elephant's stomach, including pennies, nickels, dimes, keys, and rivets.

Jumbo's skeleton was donated to the American Museum of Natural History
American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History , located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City, United States, is one of the largest and most celebrated museums in the world...

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. The elephant's heart was sold to Cornell University
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

. Jumbo's hide was stuffed by William J. Critchley and Carl Akeley
Carl Akeley
Carl Ethan Akeley was a taxidermist, sculptor, biologist, conservationist, inventor, and nature photographer, noted for his contributions to American museums, most notably to the Field Museum of Natural History and the American Museum of Natural History...

, both of Ward's Natural Science
Ward's Natural Science
Ward's Natural Science is a supplier of science education materials for high school and college-level studies in Rochester, New York. It was founded by Henry Augustus Ward in 1862....

, and the mounted specimen traveled with Barnum's circus for a number of years. In 1889, Barnum donated the stuffed Jumbo to Tufts University
Tufts University
Tufts University is a private research university located in Medford/Somerville, near Boston, Massachusetts. It is organized into ten schools, including two undergraduate programs and eight graduate divisions, on four campuses in Massachusetts and on the eastern border of France...

, where it was displayed until destroyed by a fire in 1975, coincidentally a fate that befell many of Barnum's exhibits during his own lifetime.

The great elephant's ashes are kept in a 14-ounce Peter Pan Crunchy Peanut Butter
Peter Pan (peanut butter)
Peter Pan is a brand of peanut butter produced by ConAgra Foods and named after the J.M. Barrie character. The product was introduced by Swift & Company in 1920 under the name "E. K. Pond". The product was renamed in 1928...

 jar in the office of the Tufts athletic director, while his taxidermied tail, removed during earlier renovations, resides in the holdings of the Tufts Digital Collections and Archives. A statue of an elephant, dubbed "Jumbo", was purchased from an amusement park and placed on the Tufts campus after the fire. Jumbo became the university's mascot, and remains such to this day.

Legacy

  • The elephant's fame turned its name into a household word, with "Jumbo size" meaning "very large".
  • The central character of Walt Disney's Dumbo
    Dumbo
    Dumbo is a 1941 American animated film produced by Walt Disney and released on October 23, 1941, by RKO Radio Pictures.The fourth film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, Dumbo is based upon the storyline written by Helen Aberson and illustrated by Harold Pearl for the prototype of a...

    was named after Jumbo (cruelly nicknamed within the story as "Dumbo").
  • Jumbo was used on at least one Victorian trade card
    Trade card
    Trade card describes small cards, similar to the visiting cards exchanged in social circles, that businesses would distribute to clients and potential customers. Trade cards first became popular at the beginning of the 17th century in London...

     (1890) to advertise Fletcher's Castoria. The text read "Jumbo Feeds Baby Castoria. From peasant nurse to high born lady, All mothers know what's good for baby. While Jumbo, too, though not a lady, Follows suit and feeds the great baby." An image of the card is shown on Centaur.com. Barnum is quoted on the back of the card praising the benefits of the company's ointment Centaur Liniment.
  • A life-size statue of the elephant was erected in 1985 in St. Thomas to commemorate the centennial of the elephant's death. It is located on Talbot Street on the west side of the city.
  • Railway City Brewing Company in St. Thomas, Ontario brews the popular "Dead Elephant Ale" a richly hopped IPA devoted to Jumbo and St. Thomas's railway history. Railway City Brewing
  • Jumbo has been lionized on a series of sheet music covers from roughly 1882-83. The great four color lithograph of Jumbo was created by the famous Alfred Concanen of England and was matched with the music title 'Why Part With Jumbo', a song by the great lion comique of the British music halls, G.H. Macdermott. It pictured the children visiting the zoo and riding, somewhat precariously, on Jumbo's back. The finest of multiple American lithographic music covers was done by John Bufford.
  • Jumbo is the mascot of Tufts University
    Tufts University
    Tufts University is a private research university located in Medford/Somerville, near Boston, Massachusetts. It is organized into ten schools, including two undergraduate programs and eight graduate divisions, on four campuses in Massachusetts and on the eastern border of France...

    . Elephants are featured prominently throughout the Medford/Somerville Campus.
  • In Mysore, India Vijayadashami Elephant procession during Dasara is called Jumbo Savari (referred to as Jumbo Savari by the British during their control of Mysore State). The original name to this procession is Jumbi Savari (going to the Banni(Shami)tree). Now Goddess Chamundeshwari is taken in procession on an Elephant. But the "Jumbo
    Jumbo
    Jumbo was a large African Bush Elephant, born 1861 in the French Sudan – present-day Mali – imported to a Paris zoo, transferred to the London Zoo in 1865, and sold in 1882 to P. T...

    " name is still intact.
  • In computer networking, Jumbo
    Jumbo
    Jumbo was a large African Bush Elephant, born 1861 in the French Sudan – present-day Mali – imported to a Paris zoo, transferred to the London Zoo in 1865, and sold in 1882 to P. T...

     frames are Ethernet frames with more than 1500 bytes of payload.
  • Boeing's 747 Jumbo jet is another good usage.
  • Indian Cricket
    Indian Cricket
    Indian Cricket may refer to:*Cricket in India*Indian cricket team*Indian Cricket...

     Legend Anil Kumble
    Anil Kumble
    Anil Kumble is a former Indian cricketer and captain of the Indian Test cricket team. He is a right-arm leg spin bowler and a right-hand batsman. He is currently the leading wicket-taker for India in both Test and One Day International matches...

     is nicknamed Jumbo not only because his deliveries, for a spinner, are "as fast as a Jumbo jet"., but also because his feet are quite big or Jumbo as observed by his team-mates.

See also

  • The Greatest Show on Earth
    The Greatest Show on Earth
    The Greatest Show on Earth is a 1952 drama film set in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The film was produced, directed, and narrated by Cecil B. DeMille, and won the Academy Award for Best Picture...

    : A movie based on the story of the Barnum and Bailey Circus.
  • History of elephants in Europe
    History of elephants in Europe
    The history of elephants in Europe dates back to the ice ages, when mammoths roamed the northern parts of the Earth, from Europe to North America There was also the dwarf elephant of Cyprus , Sicily-Malta and mainland The history of elephants in Europe dates back to the ice ages, when mammoths...

  • List of historical elephants
  • Jumbo is also mentioned in James Joyce's Ulysses, in the "Cyclops" chapter: "Jumbo, the elephant, loves Alice, the elephant" (p. 319 in the 1922 first edition; p. 273 in the Hans Walter Gabler, Random House edition [1984]).

External links