The Zoological Institute in United States


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The Zoological Institute



Typecircus
Founded1835
Closed down1837
Country United States
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Description

The Zoological Institute, United States , was founded in 1835. The Zoological Institute closed down in 1837.


Comments / pictures1835: In an attempt at monopoly the leading menagerie and circus proprietors capitalized the Zoological Institute in January, 1835.
In 1835, the Zoological Institute absorbed all the menageries in the country - there were sixteen extant in 1834 - and ended the first phase of individual management.
1837: The words “Zoological Institute” appear in various show titles for several seasons after 1837, but there is no evidence that the association itself was still viable. The auction in Somers, New York, in August, 1837 of two menageries and one circus would seem to indicate the end of the Zoological Institute.

From then until the 1850s almost all the animal exhibits in the country were controlled by just two firms. By then, the circus and menagerie had been merged and with one or two exceptions each season the menagerie business had ceased to thrive.


On January 14, 1835, 128 of these men gathered at the Elephant Hotel in Somers to sign the Articles of Association of the Zoological Institute. Some pages of the document have not been scanned because extreme fading of the ink makes them almost unreadable; the transcript, however, is of the complete document.

While the economic panic of 1837 just two years later all but wiped out the Institute, the organization formalized the menagerie business, which eventually became the modern circus, and thus the Articles of Association document is arguably the “birth certificate” of the American circus.

References for records about The Zoological Institute

Recommended Citation

Koehl, Dan (2021). The Zoological Institute, Elephant Encyclopedia. Available online at https://www.elephant.se/location2.php?location_id=2332. (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:


The Zoological Institute on elephant-news.com

The Zoological Institute is mentioned on Elephant News:

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2020-10-25On this date in maine history: oct. 25, 1836 - Elephant News


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