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In the 19th century, in a ritual that continues in many areas today, farmers exhibited the biggest and best of their livestock and produce at regional fairs. The proud owner of this giant ox celebrated his animal's tremendous size by posing for this whimsical photograph. Raising enormous oxen like Jerry was a specialty among farmers in the mid-Connecticut River Valley. Farmers bought oxen in the fall and fattened them through the winter. By spring, a carefully chosen diet and extremely limited exercise produced extremely large animals. The oxen were then driven to the cattle markets in Brighton or New York. After the Civil War, a growing network of railroads began transporting western range cattle to the east. Although farmers continued to raise large oxen, the coming of the railroads signaled the end of the heyday of the stall-fed ox.

 

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Jerry with Rocking Chair

photographer   Unidentified
date   c. 1900
location   Buckland, Massachusetts
width (sight)   6.5"
height (sight)   4.5"
width (framed)   10.5"
height (framed)   8.0"
process/materials   paper print
item type   Photograph/Photograph
accession #   #1992.01.02.28


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See Also...

Jerry "The Avery Steer" Banner at the Fair

Old State House and Midway, Eastern States Expo.

Some Apples and Potatoes - Eastern States Expo.

Coliseum Building, Eastern States Exposition

"Mack the Giant Ox" Banner

New Entrance to the Live Wire Fair

Avery Oxen Show Admission Ticket

"Giant Oxen" Poster

"Avery Oxen" Poster


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