1/1/2019 to 3/17/2019

Mr. Akeley's Movie Camera

The Field Museum of Natural History
1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.
Chicago 60605
(312) 922-9410

Carl Akeley—best known as “the father of modern taxidermy” and for works like the fighting African elephants in our main hall—was also a naturalist, sculptor, writer, and inventor. Recently, we added to our collections one of his most versatile inventions: the Akeley Motion Picture Camera.

From 1896 to 1909, Akeley was the Field’s Chief Taxidermist. He joined the Museum’s first two expeditions to Africa, studying animals in their natural habitats and bringing back specimens for educational display. Looking for a way to capture the natural world in motion, in 1915 he invented a portable movie camera to use on expeditions.

Learn how this device—along with Akeley's true-to-life museum displays—transformed how people saw nature.

Time: During regular hours

Cost: Regular admission applies

Ages: All ages


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