Monday, January 28, 2013

Alligator Farms (More Weird History)

If you think the Ostrich Farms described in my last post were bizarre, they may seem tame to you compared to what awaited visitors to early twentieth century Alligator Farms. There were no alligator races, but apparently young visitors had several entertainment options.

There was “The Joy Ride” at the California Alligator Farm in Los Angeles depicted on this postcard dated 1911.

If merely hitching an alligator to a cart was too tame for you, you could hop aboard one bareback at the Alligator Farm in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Then there’s this disturbing picture that shows an infant “feeding baby alligators.” It reminds me of one of those macabre Charles Addams cartoons.

 
 
 
When the kiddies tired of interacting with the alligators, the whole family could sit back and watch the alligators “Shooting the Chutes.”

 
 
 
 
 
And just as you could send for an ostrich if you wanted to bring the fun home with you, a new postal order in 1933 that allowed the mailing of live pets apparently included alligators in the “pet” category. (Remember one of the first episodes of Leave it to Beaver when Wally and Beaver send away for a baby alligator?) Needless to say, that order has been amended and currently bans shipping any type of alligator, so kids today can no longer hide a baby alligator in the basement washtub until it bites the maid, as happened to Wally and the Beav.

 
 
Of course, we know the rules never apply to Stretch. . .

 

3 comments:

Lucy.south said...

You and Art Linkletter can come up with the darndest things to talk about! lol

Laurie said...

You go girl! Love Stretch's little alligator too!!! Love, Laurie

Cathy Scibelli said...

Lucy--I think your influence on me is why I'm attracted to wacky topics. lol

Laurie--Stretch says you can come over and play with his alligator any time, he'll even hitch up a cart for you to ride in when it gets bigger.