Greenwell Restores Fénykövi Elephant

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Frank Greenwell of the National Museum of Natural History begins restoration of the Fénykövi elephant in the rotunda of the Museum. Working on a scaffold, he injects glue into spots where the hide had cracked or separated with a syringe, and impregnates the hide with a petroleum-based wax more durable than the original beeswax, paraffin and Canada basalm coating.


  • Greenwell, Frank M
  • Fénykövi Elephant
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 371, Box 3, "The Torch," April 1981, p. 3.
  • The TORCH article notes that Fénykövi donated the elephant to the museum in 1953. However, according to the Smithsonian Institution's Annual Reports, the elephant was not accessioned by the museum until 1958.

Contact information

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




  • Conservation and restoration
  • Animals
  • Exhibitions
  • Elephants

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