Postcard of a West African Gorilla

ID: SIA2013-07797 (front) and SIA2013-07798 (back)

Creator: Albertype Company, The

Form/Genre: Postcard

Date: 1933

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 65, Box 16, Folder: Postcards

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Postcard of a West African gorilla on exhibit at the US National Museum, now the National Museum of Natural History. The gorilla is standing and holding on to a tree branch. The postcard is unused, but the message side has a printed note about West African gorillas: "Gorillas are restricted to the relatively inaccessible districts of equatorial Africa. The adult male West African gorilla is a huge, powerfully built animal that may be dangerous. Rumors regarding the existence of gorillas stirred human interest for several centuries, but it was not until 1847, when an American Medical missionary, Dr. Thomas Savage, returned to Boston with its remains, that this extraordinary animal was definitely brought to the knowledge of science. The specimen in the National Museum was collected by C. R. Aschemeier in the French Congo, Africa, during the Collins-Garner Congo Expedition [geographic region comprised of Gabon, the Central African Republic, and the Republic of the Congo], 1917-1919."


  • United States National Museum
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)
  • Collins-Garner Congo Expedition in the Interests of the Smithsonian Institution (1916-1919)


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


The National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) first opened to the public on March 17, 1910, as the new United States National Museum. The first National Museum was housed in what is now the Arts and Industries Building.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 65, Box 16, Folder: Postcards

Contact information

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



Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Postcard
  • Scientific expeditions
  • Animals
  • Exhibitions
  • Gorilla


  • Postcard
  • Paper

ID Number

SIA2013-07797 (front) and SIA2013-07798 (back)

Physical description

Number of Images: 2; Color: Black and White; Size: 3.4w x 5.4h; Type of Image: Postcard; Medium: Paper

Full Record

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