The Merman and the Hungry Seamen via Fook Woh & Co.

A member of the family of Nereids that inhabited the China Sea many centuries ago. This specimen having been captured in the Gulf of Tonquin, a tributary of the China Sea, off the coast of Quihoy, about five hundred miles from Hong Kong. It belongs to the species of Herbivorous Cetacea, one of the rarest inhabitants of the Sea. Herbivorous Cetacea, occasionally wandered into the more Northern Seas, and invariably caused great excitement among the seamen. In the waters of the Namaar, they were quite frequently seen by Arab and Greek seamen years ago, but they are now almost an extinct type of animal life. This specimen was purchased from the National Museum of China, through the firm of Fook Woh & Co., Importers, San Francisco, Calif., and it is said there are but few others, they being in the large Museums of Europe.

There’s not much more I can say, really. Mrs. F. C. Boving has said it all in this postcard she published.

There was one other merman I’ve heard of – he was on display at Dreamland in Coney Island (here’s a postcard from Dreamland) and sadly, he was lost in the terrible fire that burned the place to the ground.

A moment of silence, for lost mermen.

My next post will be on how to catch and cook one.


2 thoughts on “The Merman and the Hungry Seamen via Fook Woh & Co.

  1. A very cool postcard! Apparently, the merman is still on display at Alligator Farm, Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas (search Flickr for “Merman closeup” for a 2008 image). After diving into the internet and them doing some web surfing, I found two other postcards that feature mermen. One is here:
    Scroll a little over halfway down to postcard EXG50, or simply do a “find” (Ctrl-F) on the word “merman” (without the quotes). Note that this merman is also on display, at the Bird Cage Museum in Tombstone, Arizone.(do a web search on “Can Can Merman” (in quotes) for a website that details the history of this merman).
    The other merman postcard I found features the Merman of Aden:
    The Merman of Aden was displayed at the Ripley Odditorium in Brooklyn, New York, so just might be the one that you recall as having been displayed at Dreamland on Coney Island and lost to a fire. Maybe “he” was rescued from the fire after all! — Leo

    1. Great stuff, Leo! The one in Brooklyn looks much much happier than either the one in Arizona or the one in Arkansas.

      I don’t blame him. I love Brooklyn too. 🙂

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