Elephant Ride in the Berlin Zoo (c. 1886)


Zoos were among those public institutions that structured free time around encounters with modern knowledge. Visitors to zoos entered into networks or ecologies of knowledge, which included not only animals but also the scientists who studied and cared for them, the “knowledge organizers” who arranged their cages, and the director-entrepreneurs who, for entertainment purposes, added music pavilions, restaurants, and kiosks, and the like in a deliberate commercialization of nature. All these developments thrilled zoo-goers in various places, including Berlin. The Berlin Zoo opened in August 1844 with a consignment of animals from the Prussian king’s own menagerie and pheasantry. The Berlin Zoo was the first in Germany; its vast diversity of animal species and similarly impressive visitor numbers made it the envy of zoos all over the world.


Source: Image purchased from a commercial database (Alamy). Please contact the Intersections editorial staff if you can identify the provenance of this image.

Elephant Ride in the Berlin Zoo (c. 1886), published in: German History Intersections, <https://germanhistory-intersections.org/en/knowledge-and-education/ghis:image-41> [December 01, 2023].