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Jumbo: the untold story

Jumbo was a superstar of the Victorian era before his tragic death in St. Thomas, Ontario on September 15, 1885.  Every day tens of thousands of people would visit him, “the Children’s Pet” at the London (England) Zoo. When P.T. Barnum purchased him for his Greatest Show on Earth, Jumbo’s transport to the U.S. made headlines for weeks. His name became an adjective for oversized things, and half a century after his death he was the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Dumbo. But fame comes at a price. His best friend – a zookeeper named Matthew Scott – was manipulative, and Jumbo himself attracted rumors of violent tantrums, not to mention a fondness for drink, and a “wife” he left behind to make it big in America.

From an eyewitness account of Jumbo’s capture in Africa to the “Jumbo craze” that swept across the world, author Paul Chambers utilizes new archival material to tell Jumbo’s full story.  On Wednesday, April 6 (7.00 p.m.), in the Central library's Stevenson & Hunt Room, Mike Baker, curator of Elgin County Museum will share insights into the St. Thomas connection to Jumbo.

To read the latest book about Jumbo, click here.
To find out more about the library's Forgotten Stories of London series, click here.