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Title Image: At the Museum
Jonas Brothers

 jonas brothers

Louis, John and Leslie Jonas had created a reputation as expert taxidermists of wild animals as exhibits for the leading natural history museums in the USA.

Twice a day, over the first two months of the work on Phar Lap, Louis Jonas visited the Empire City Track in Yonkers to study the movement of thoroughbreds in trackwork. He also paid close attention to the photographic reference material of Phar Lap that he had been given.

Working from the basic shape of his skeleton, Phar Lap's basic form was replicated in steel, burlap and wire. The attention to detail was painstaking. In December 1932, the American magazine 'Popular Science Monthly' published a lengthy article about the process, reporting that:

One of these fine touches was reproducing the veins, especially in the legs. To do this, pieces of ropes were immersed in paste and then glued to the form in the exact positions where the veins of the original animal had been. Close-up photographs of Phar Lap's "million dollar" legs, as well as extensive anatomical charts, aided in this phase of the work. When it was finished, the final step began. This was placing the skin on the completed mounting... Putting on the ears and tail, and making a few minor touches here and there, completed the work, an achievement that is receiving recognition as one of the outstanding feats of modern taxidermy.

© Museum Victoria Australia