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Season 2, Episode 5 · 3 years ago

Episode 206 - Lived By The Will

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Here you are, in the George Eastman Museum, once the home of the founder of Kodak. Its Interior drips with wealth. Lime washed wooden panels, marble floors, crystal glassware and exotic plants furnish every inch of the multimillion dollar mansion. Lining the halls are richly colored fabrics and priceless rugs, glistening chandeliers and sizable paintings. Windows Adorn every corridor and fill the space with natural light, giving visitors the chance to view Eastman's personal courtyard, complete with a terraced Garden Ivy embroidered arches in a quaint frog pond in the center. The eight and a half Acre property feels open yet serene. At the same time. The museum has done its best to preserve the wonder of the estate, guiding visitors through Eastman's many rooms with purple velvet ropes and mementos of his own personal collections. But no matter how impressive the mansion itself may be, one feature catches your eye unlike anything else, a giant elephant head. As visitors are guided in the Eastman's conservatory, the elephant in the room is quite clear not a painting, not a statue and certainly not your typical house decoration. George Eastman mounted an adultabole elephant head high above the first floor, shot by Eastman taxidermide locally and displayed proudly in the largest room of the estate. The elephant head is George Eastman's proud reminder to all that enter his home. I bested that animal as the centerpiece of the living room. The elephant is a reminder will barely a fraction of Eastman's hunting trophies. It is clear he saw it as his greatest the prominence of the boy elephant distracts visitors from another fact. The mansion is a mausoleum of dead African wildlife. As you walk deeper into the house, you arrive in his game room, decorated with a cheetah hell couch cover and antelope hoof ash trade and a Muskrat for a blanket. A desk with a rhinal skin stretched over it sits in the room next door,...

...offset by the elephant foot spatune in the RHINAL foot base. Traveling upwards, you pass the second floor for a closer view of the Goliath elephant head and move towards the third and final floor. There you are greeted by the mounted heads of a bore to sell, Rhino, water buffalo and lion, and that's when it hits you. Eastman's house is stuffed with dead animals. But why did he keep all of these animals around and how did he get them? Eastman was a busy man with a knack for photography, but his passion for hunting is abundantly clear from the moment you see the elephants head. So where does that passion come from? Did he want to preserve certain species or hang them as trophies? I'm Sam and I'm chloe in this is here. You are episode five. Lived by the will. Today we will be looking into Eastman's appetite for trophy hunting and the steps he took to preserve the animals he saw fit to display with two safari's, thousands of hunted species, years of detailed journal entries in numerous taxidermad animals. Eastman was a man that got what he wanted. George Eastman lived by the well. George Eastman was born in one thousand eight hundred and fifty four in Waterville, New York. WATERVILLE is way east of here, south, south of Beautifi New York. That's barbed title. A Rochester local and guide at the George Eastman Museum, and he was the youngest of three children. He had two older sisters and M Kate and Ellen, Mariah and his dad, George Washington Eastman, and his mom, Mariah Kilbourne. Eastman had a nursery specializing in fruit trees and rose bushes. In one thousand eight hundred and eighty eight George he's been founded his camera company, Codek, which eventually turned Eastman into the fifth wealthiest person in the US. Eastman was an avid sportsman and enjoyed being in the outdoors. He had a love for fishing and hunting. He believed in the philosophy that what we do in our working hours determines what we have in this world,...

...what we do in our play hours determines what we are. Eastman Champions Triumph over conservation, despite his hunting license often being granted to him on the basis of museum donation. He's been thoroughly believed that the animals he tracked were his trophies. His detailed journal entries favored the exhilaration of the hunt and the sensation of shooting big game. His descriptions were rich in detail, sometimes lasting pages describing one encounter. Yet once the animal was shot dead, Eastman looses all interest. He documents their moving of camps. Often they were always following the best animals, and he even shortened his stay in Nairobe specifically to move and get bigger game, such as elephants, Buffalo and Rhino's. He describes one camp as the ideal place to hunt, kill or murder the wild animals. For Eastman, a dead animal wasn't much of an animal at all, it was an object for him to display. In fact, George Eastman believed that animals existed for man's use. He wasn't generally concerned with animal endangerm hunting the animals that he found suitable at any time he pleased. On the second of his two safari's, Eastman stayed an extra seven months after reaching his hunting quota, killing over a thousand animals on his own. His house showcases his trophies, with elephant feet and antelope pubs being crafted into home decor, along with Cheetah pelts and rodent skins sewn into blankets. This is nice tray. He had these things on all over the house. At least they you see animal for something. Back then, despite the fact that he was known to have constantly been documenting life around him through pictures, George Eastman, at age seventy two, still wrote and published every piece of his safari travels from the Monday into the thrilling Eastman wanted someone to remember what he was doing in Africa. Addley and I have now gotten nearly all the trophies here we want except a...

...few more lions. All the animals, except perhaps the lion, can run like the wind for long distances and it is very hard to get a shot at them closer than two hundred to three hundred yards. I hope to get a very interesting affair and some excitement to help explain the extent of Eastman's hunting journal. George Eastman House curator, Kathy Connor ways in on the extent of his daily reports. He published two books. One was when he was still alive and he gave it out to friends to to tell about his experiences in Africa's was very unusual to go there, especially at his age, and photograph and take movies of all of this and hunt and bring back the animal trophies and it was very expensive. So that's why I was just an old, old, rich white guys kind of sport type of thing. But through the pictures, in his writings, his little oral histories and his letters to his secretary about what they were doing each day, kind of like a diary, those books became very popular and he ended up printing about one five hundred of them. And then the evening my mom raised the codec organization and so he gave the mouse. Those people asked about the trip rereas in trying to explain things, he would hand them a book. If there were friends or other people and they didn't work with him at Kodak, he had a few others published that he hand wrote a little inscription for them, and there's good reason to believe that at this point in his life Eastman was considering his legacy. Eastman often bragged about his hunts and his journal entries, claiming that he had done some of the best quail shooting of his life in Africa. He recorded the comments of others praising him as well. Colleague and Friend Leslie Charlton said that Eastman's collection was the finest he has seen in a while. Despite his age. Eastman always wanted to come out on top, constantly comparing himself and his trophies to the rest of the group. For the dying to be, where would you maybe is but an instruments, if you would into a broken...

...and to be cast aside. And if he is one of the assault? Eastman was an avid admirer of Teddy Roosevelt. His entire first safari in Africa was mapped out to mimic the trip Roosevelt had previously taken. He planned to return with an elephant and White Rhino, as Roosevelt did. When heasman, did not achieve this goal, he planned his second safari shortly after turning home. It was not only in his safari plans that Eastman Showcases Admiration for Roosevelt, but as well as within his home, he attracted with an architectural fir amount of New York City called the camp of mead and white, and they were the premier architects in the US at the turn of the century. They were responsible for the original Pennsylvania station in New York City, along with the restoration of the White House during Teddy Roosevelt's presidency. So this room looks very much like what the state dining room look like during Teddy Roosevelt's presidency. His Admiration of Roosevelt came from an interest in those who held very powerful positions in society, specifically men who are influential in their respective countries. Along with Roosevelt, Eastman held the greatest reverence for Benito Mussolini and as many correspondences with Mussolini Easmen, consistently refers to him as your excellence and was very upset that he did not get the chance to meet him while in Italy before departing for Safari. In Eastman's eyes, Mussolini was no doubt one of the ABLEST men in Europe. Eastman's dominance over the African Safari was a physical representation of the power he possessed. Every animal he killed or health seize was another notch on his belt as George Eastman, conqueror of the African Safari. Yet Eastman's dominance over the land encompassed more than he even considered. Local hunters, CHEF's, townspeople, drivers, ammunitions, transporters and more inhabited the land. The Eastman only referenced to Hunt and control, whether in Nairobi Sudan, Uganda or any of...

...the other four thousand miles he traveled. The natives were consistently referred to as separate from Eastman and his cohorts. The Difference Between the native people of Africa and Eastman's sporting group is made clear by his delineation of skin color as a means of description. His notes on the locals remained polite and respectful, as Eastman was not a racially malicious man, but his accounts of big game hunts with the locals reveal an unmistakable superiority complex. Eastman writes of an African bull elephant terrorizing a small village in Nairobi. The elephant had already claimed four lives. In Eastman's travels had conveniently landed him close enough to the elephant's whereabouts. In a single day, Eastman tracked and ended the life of the ferocious animal and supposedly returned to the village as a hero, greeted by songs and many thanks. George Eastman believed he was the savior of a small African town, one unable to stop the rampage of an enraged elephant. Cathy describes the encounter in great detail on site at the Eastman House. Coincidentally, George Eastman's player organ couldn't help but chime in, as well as Africa and Kenya and had destroyed people's homes and perhaps they killed the people. So when he killed the elephant, even though it wasn't a perfect specimen, it only had the one Tusk, the villagers were just thrilled, and so they hate needed the elephant will for quite some time and fed the village as well. Whether or not eastmen embellished this story is unknown, but the word four elephant related casualties in that small village and Eastman was able to kill an elephant in that area. The main takeaway being this. This was exactly what e's been wanted to be a hero, to be remembered for his valiance among the native people and to conquer another area. The people that surrounded eastmen were just as important as the game he hunted, and his pride in hunting for them hints towards the superiority...

...he craved. So at the time, you were into then. You definitely displayed them in your home. was definitely were trophies. They were thinking you were a fat who have done so not quite political opinion of them against back then. Okay, a lot of these animals, some of them including the elephant, they were getting extinct. Buck you. If you could pay the money for a permit, our license to do what you could do it legally. Shooting an event had become an obsession for Eastman. He was determined to leave with a trophy to show. Along with bagging and elephant, Eastman had desperately wanted a white rhino. Despite being endangered. He wrote to a friend, Barond de Cartier, who had helped to organize details of a second safari, asking for permission. Do you think there is any chance of me being able to get permission to shoot one White Rhino? I understand that they are on the protected list, but that sometimes exceptions are made. With this still in mine, Eastman bagged his White Rhino, despite his irreverent attitude towards its endangerment, recording, preserving and presenting, Eastman traveled with his close friends and fellow sportsman Martin and Osa Johnson and Carl Akeley. Each hunter was skilled, tenacious and wealthy, yet each had very different perceptions of their purpose and being. On those safaris, we were joined, arriving at Alexandra in northern Egypt. Martin and Osa Johnson accompanied Eastman on both of his safaris to Africa, but for very different purposes. The Johnson's were filmmakers looking to get live footage of different scenes, such as spear hunting, lions and animals in nature that no one else had captured before. The Johnson's travel to Africa for the sole purpose of preservation. They seek to educate the public with the record of wild life, with the hopes that in return, America would want to preserve these...

...natural habitats and species. Carl Lakeley, who is associated with this museum, is credited with creating the very first habitat horse. When you look at Carl Lakeley and his creation of the Gorilla Diarrama and his campaign managed to strangle and kill the Jaguire with his bare hand. Carl Akeley also traveled to Africa with Eastman and the Johnson's. I'm both Safari's. Akley also seek to preserve the animals, but through a different method. Akeley was beginning to collect specimen for his hall of African Animals Opening in the American Museum of Natural History. Akley believe that by hunting these animals and creating taxidermies of them and Dioramas of their natural habitats was the best way to preserve these species. So where does George Eastman fit in? I'm having degree this gathering of motion picture engineer. It is a great satisfaction to be able to speak to the medium of this wonderful invention. The aim be farm or dependent upon the work of the engineers and the futures, and it has a bat. I hope that the Society of Motion Picture engineers will continue to purge and to serve the industry easmen was proud of the Johnson's success in the film industry and admired Akley for his work at the Natural History Museum. He believed in the work and purposeful engagement of his friends and fellow hunters, but his interests were far more personal. Georgie's been valued the hunt and cherished the reward. He was wealthy, accomplished, charitable and respected. So by no means that he's been need anything from anyone else. What he's been needed was a legacy that he could construct upon his own terms. Physical taxidermies of animals that could surpass him, photographs of speciency killed newspaper articles of his two published safari journals in the stories that he publicized along with them. These were all controllable features of George Eastman's remembrance. Just six years after his final safari, George Eastman took his own life, leaving behind...

...a note that simply reads to my friends, my work is done. Why wait? Crippled by lumbar spinal stenosis, he feared an illness that left him crippled and inactive. He makes no mention of his age in any journal entry, instead opting to recount his aggressive encounters with charging rhinocere human killing elephants in man eating lions. Yet the physicality that Eastman portrays in his letters was not a sign of insecurity, but rather a consciousness of his own legacy. By telling stories of tracking big game and detailing his expenditures of large sums of money, Eastman was crafting the personal life you wanted to portray. But not all of Eastman Safari escapads can be so neatly packaged by the man that experienced them. In his desire to mimic the travels of Teddy Roosevelt, Eastman finds himself boasting of his own empiricism. The dominance over African animals and cultures alike lies underneath the subtext of every encounter. From his furnished tents to his line pelt drusted Buickx, Eastman was unaware of the innate cultural supremacy he was displaying. In a direct quote from Eastman himself, he writes whether anybody is justified and killing a lot of wild animals just for the pleasure of taking home so called trophies to show his friends and bragging is entirely dependent on the hunter. Eastman wrote that he was returning home with a mindful of memories and eager to once again live in a place where the people were not hopelessly and unspeakably filthy. In a letter to Delia Akley, Carl Agley's wife, Eastman actually thanks her for the original idea to journal his experiences after his first safari and exclaims his joy in arriving in Rochester, a civilized area unlike any land in Africa. He enjoyed the company of the native people, but not their lifestyle. He relished in the hunt for big game, but viewed each animal as an object...

...for his own pleasure. And finally, George Eastman admired the land of Africa but was unable to appearreciate it's worth past the trophies that lied within it. Writer Louis B Jones recounts George Eastman Played The game to the last. By his own hand he lived his life and by his own hand he ended it. Here you are as a podcast created by students at the University of Rochester. This episode was co produced by Sam Roth and Chloe Slane, with Co Production The music and audio engineering by Josh Kopperman. We'd also like to thank the George Eastman Study Center, as well as Jesse Pierce, Kathy Conner and Barb Tuttle for their assistance with research and contributions to the episode, and finally, we'd like to thank our voice actor, Rick Carl for bringing George Eastman to life. The coordinating producers for this season of here you are, or mile apart and Liam Gucio's, the executive producers for here you are, or Thomas Fleischman and Stephen Wrestler. Here you are is made possible by the teaching innovation grant at the University of Rochester. Be sure to check out the other episodes of here you are season two, nature reconstructed at here you are, docom. Thanks for listening.

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