FIELD MUSEUM 8/2014

FIELD MUSEUM – 1400 S Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60605, (312) 922-9410, fieldmuseum.org Public Transportation: Either the south-bound CTA bus line #146 (Marine-Michigan), or Red Line CTA train south to Roosevelt, then take a Museum Campus trolley or transfer to CTA bus #12.

Q-TIPS SAT: The Q’s went on a FREE day for Ill residents (need to show some form of ID) and took the #147 bus and changed to the #146 that dropped us off directly in front of the Field Museum. Mrs. Q says: The Field Museum is one of her all time favorites – she is like a kid in a candy store.

This visit we paid for the Special Exhibits (paid $17.00 ea- a discounted priced for the Free Day – otherwise the exhibits cost more). Was totally worth every penny – especially since we did not have to pay to get in. Mrs. Q’s only disappointment was that the World’s Fair exhibit had nothing about the Women who were an integral part of the planning, for example, Mrs. Palmer. The Q’s saw the 1893 World’s Fair artifacts that have been brought out from the vaults of the Museum. Not only the birthplace of the Juicy Fruit chewing gum and the Ferris Wheel, the World’s Fair also marked debut of the Field Museum. 120 years later, the Museum opens its hidden collections to display incredible artifacts and specimens that will bring to life one of the most spectacular events in the Windy City’s history. Wonders of the 1893 World’s Fair. Get a look at objects that have rarely—or never—been on display since they amazed fair goers over a hundred years ago, including a meteorite so feared it was kept chained in a dungeon. Strange new products from all over the world. You can see the some of the Stained Glass art works from the Fair at Navy Pier. And see how Field Museum scientists continue to conduct ground-breaking research on the ever-growing collection using new technology. Also included in the price was a 3D movie about the Egypt and Mummys and Special Exhibit about Bio-mechanics.

Then off to see the Mummies, Northwest Coast and Arctic Peoples, and the visit is not complete without a visit to Sue, the largest most complete T-Rex ever discovered and the famous gorilla, Bushman. You cannot see it all in one day. If you have little ones along that get hungry and need a rest, they have a cafeteria or “bring your own munchies” and rent a locker. Go and enjoy, we did.

A bit of Bushman History: In 1930, most African animals were still exotic creatures from a little-known land. When an orphaned infant gorilla named Bushman arrived at Lincoln Park Zoo on this date, he quickly became an international attraction.

The nation’s zoo directors voted him “the most outstanding animal in any zoo in the world and the most valuable.” Taken from Cameroon in West Africa, Bushman was sold to the zoo for $3,500 by a Presbyterian missionary and an animal trader. Photographed often, the solitary animal was a temperamental subject, often hurling food and his dung at photographers. Those who had been pelted claimed the gorilla’s aim was more accurate than that of any Cubs or White Sox pitcher.

Although he might not have always enjoyed the limelight, Bushman was a publicity godsend to the zoo, which had opened in 1868 with a pair of swans donated by New York’s Central Park.

But no other animal in a Chicago-area zoo has ever drawn the crowds as Bushman did in his stark steel cage. On a single June day in 1950, about 120,000 people flocked to see Bushman when he was thought to be dying. The gorilla rallied and captured headlines once more before he died.

In October 1950, he escaped from his cage through an unlocked door and roamed a kitchen and corridor for nearly three hours before a harmless garter snake frightened him back into his cage. He died on New Year’s Day in 1951, and for weeks, mourners filed past his cage. His mounted remains are displayed at the Field Museum of Natural History.

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