Taxidermy - A death greater than life.

The March 1946 issue of Popular Mechanics ran this story about taxidermy, the most mysterious of black magics that still befuddles our smartest fifth graders. The Phil Are Go team have reproduced the content of this article for your delight. Original text follows.
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"Taxidermy" comes from the Latin "taxi", meaning "yellow car for short term hire" and "dermy", meaning "having nothing to do with". Since the dawn of time, Man has been fascinated with killing animals, shoving lots of things into them, and then staring at them. Until the creation of the first museum, these men were just sick weirdos. Now, they are the archivists of the miracle of life, through the glory of death.

The journey of taxidermy begins with the animal being lightly killed. In this photograph, we see a Chimpanzee receiving his "contribution to history injection". The animal's last meal may consist of beer or Tang, depending on whether he was a jerk and bit somebody.

Next, the animal is encased in a form-fitting mold, to ensure that the "icky bits" don't fall all over the floor. Here, the chimpanzee is placed into a pig-shaped mold, because the museum already has enough chimps on display. One taxidermist carefully holds the animals wee-wee, if that's what he's into.

The animal is left in the mold for several months, and nature takes it's course. Sometimes, the various desiccating animal pieces smell bad, and the dead animal must be punished. Here, a worker hits the mold with a hammer to let the dead chimpanzee know he smells bad. To the left, we see some taxidermist humor. They used a hose to make it look like the animal is peeing. Taxidermists have no friends.

After four to six months, the mold is opened and the grody bits discarded. All that is left is the animal's skin. Special care is taken, to smooth over the animal's backside and other private parts. After all, it's only 1946, and Americans are insanely puritanical and uptight about ridiculous things. Also, that same guy from before is interested in the naughty bits. Now, the chimpanzee is ready for display!

Here, we see some work being done on a different project. A giant mola fish is being readied for presentation. The skin has been removed, revealing it's intricate wooden skeleton. This makes it very easy to work with, since glues and paint adhere readily to wood. The skeleton will need to be covered with skin before it can be put on display... probably the skin of a chimpanzee.

Some animals are too frikkin ugly for anybody to want to see. This vulture is having it's head covered in wax, to make it presentable. Another happy customer, thanks to the miracle of modern taxidermy!

The staff of Popular Mechanics would like to thank you for reading this comprehensive taxidermy article. If you are interested in learning taxidermy, we encourage you to visit your local library or just any ghoulish-looking guy with a knife. Don't forget to turn to page 280 for a fascinating how-to article showing you how-to make a footstool out of surplus postwar hams.
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