Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Long-Trunks vs Short-Trunks

The first elephant-shaped zoo keys issued by Audio Tours, Inc. in 1959 for the San Francisco Zoo were long-trunk elephants, approximately 1-7/8" in length. In comparison, the elephant-shaped keys issued later were shorter by 3/8" with a total length of 1-1/2".

Purportedly, the long-trunk elephant keys were just long enough to cause repeated trunk breakage in the Talking Storybooks, so adjustments were made to shorten the key in remedy.

So, there are long-trunks and short-trunks -- which one do you have??

1 comment:

Mat Black said...

I have the shorter key. I got it at Turtleback Zoo in New Jersey in about 1972. I just found it in my den, looked it up on google and found your blog. Nice memories, thanks.

Zoo Keys

Novelty plastic keys used in Talking Storybooks at zoos, parks and other exhibits. Children's entertainer and puppeteer Bruce "Skipper" Sedley invented the original tape-recorded-playback Talking Storybooks with their novelty keys in the early 1950s.

In 1958, Talking Storybooks operated by the Magic Key to Fairyland were installed at Children's Fairyland in Oakland's Lake Merritt Park. The familiar elephant-shaped key – Trunkey the Elephant – was created the following year for the San Francisco Zoo, and has been used at zoos & parks across America since the 1960s.