Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Elephant No. 83: Anonymous Scratchfiti at the Elmdale Tavern

Lynn Owen is great at sending me funny elephants she comes across. This one was photographed by Lynn in the women's WC at the venerable Elmdale Tavern here in Ottawa.

Although on the surface the Elmdale—recently rebranded as the Elmdale Oyster House & Tavern—has always masqueraded as an old-fashioned dive, it's also a place where some pretty great local music is played. It's also probably one of the very few bars left in Ottawa with a separate entrance for ladies (who had to be accompanied by men back in the day).

What I particularly like about this oddball little elephant is that someone actually saw an elephant in a purse hook on the back of a stall door. Whoever they are, they're my kind of person.

Elephant scratchfitti at the Elmdale Tavern.
Photo: Lynn Owen
Photograph courtesy of Lynn Owen

Elephant Lore of the Day

Over the Christmas holidays, I was reading a book about Georgian London (1760–1830), which had a section about false teeth. Although many fine sets of teeth were made of ivory, it was discovered that elephant ivory was not the best thing to use. Apparently hippopotamus ivory became favoured over elephant ivory because, while elephant ivory yellowed in the human mouth, hippopotamus ivory remained relatively white.

Both types of ivory, however, were not terribly durable, and tended to turn to a sort of fibrous mush as they rapidly ground down. Believe me when I say that you don't really want to know what made the best false teeth back then.

Carved ivory denture—probably of hippopotamus or walrus ivory.
Source: http://drnealblog.blogspot.ca/2011/09/interesting-facts-in-history-of.html

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