William L. Brown Holding Hippo Model

ID: SIA2011-0033

Creator: Unknown

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: 1930s

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7320, Box 3, Folder: 2

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Taxidermist William L. Brown holds a clay model of a hippopotamus for exhibition in the United States National Museum (now the National Museum of Natural History). He wrote on the back of photo: "This was when I was best. 40 yrs old. As a taxidermist, I was the first person ever to mount a successful hippo and probably will be the last. Mr. Himmalstein tanned the hide soft as a kid glove and he said it was the last thing in taxidermy. His secret was probably known only to him. Secretary Dr Wetmore said he would put it up against any other piece of taxidermy. Staff artist at the American [Museum of Natural History] said it was Tops. A preparator in a Museum in California said it was a masterpiece."


  • Brown, William L
  • United States National Museum
  • Model and Taxidermy Shop
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)
  • Taxidermist (USNM)


Historic Images of the Smithsonian

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7320, Box 3, Folder: 2

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu



Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Taxidermy
  • Clay
  • Model and modelmaking
  • Taxidermists
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Personnel management
  • Employees
  • Hippos
  • Hippopotamus
  • Smithsonian Institution--Employees


  • Photographic print
  • Person, candid
  • Model

ID Number


Physical description

Number of Images: 1; Color: Black and white; Size: 5w x 7h; Type of Image: Person, candid; Model; Medium: Photographic print

Full Record

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