The New Adventure Begins: The Gilded Age

A week ago I was captured, put some sort of transportation vehicle, and then droped of in an outdoor cell. The name of the man who captured me is Charles "Buffalo" Jones.[1] Although he is primarly known for herding buffalo, he was sent on a specific mission to capture a bighorn for the National Zoo.

I overheard the people transporting me say that the name of this mysterious area was Washington D.C and I was in their National Zoo. One of the men said that the National Zoo was started as an Act of Congress for "the advancement of science and the instruction and recreation of the people."[2] The Zoo is 163 acres and there countless numbers of different species that live here. Congress created the National Zoo for the advancement of leadership in animal care, science, and sustainablility. I suppose that means that thousands of people plan on comming to the Zoo so that they can study me! Aren't I special. Below is a map of my new home, along with the man who captured me.

Charles "Buffalo" Jones


My first few days in this new area have been a drastic change from what I'm accustomed to. Instead of being surrounded by mountains, trees, and creeks, I am surrounded now by hard, grey concrete. It is literally EVERYWHERE!!! Similarily, this area lacks the tranquility of Yellowstone. I constantly hear the buzz of cars and people roaming the streets of Washington. Luckily the terrain inside of my new home inside of my new home is rocky and rough, which reminds me of life in Yellowstone. My new neighbors are Bighorn as well, but I'm not quite sure that "neighbors" is the right word. About five bighorn, including myself, live together in a mid-sized caged positioned in the middle of the Zoo.

In the below pictures you can see how drastically my living space has altered!!!

Life in Yellowstone
Life in The National Zoo

Thankfully Eric, the bald eagle, came to the National Zoo as well. I immediately called his attention using a renowned new device called the telephone. Earlier that day, while I was making conversation with my new neighbors, they told me that we were one of the lucky groups in the zoo that had a telephone. At first, I hadn't the slightest idea what a phone was, so I didn't really see what the big deal was. But my neighbor said it was one of the greatest American inventions of all time. Invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876, the "electrical speech machine—the telephone— quickly became the industrialized world's only means of long-distance vocal communication."[7] It was a step up from the telegraph, which was invented in 1844 by Samuel Morse, and only sent messages in Morse Code. Apparently my neighbor is a huge fan of the telegraph and telephone, as he rambled on about all of the improvements it brought to society. I tried to list as many as I could possibly remember below.

Benefits of the telegraph and telephone include....

  1. Founding of the AT&T (American Telephone and Telegraph) company. AT&T was the parent company of the Bell System, the American Telephone monopoly. [8]
  2. Railroads used the telegraph and telephone to schedule departures and arrivals, which allowed railroads to be safer and more time efficient.
  3. Newspapers were able to obtain news form all parts of the country and world, demolishing local confinements.
  4. The Stock Market used the telegraph to create the "ticker tape." This made it possible to view the current price of stock and it allowed buyers and sellers immediate access to the market, creating the first National Stock Exchange. [9]



I was told to only use the telephone at night when the Zoo Keepers were out of sight. So after the sun set, I found the telephone hidden under the boulder and called the Bald Eagle. He filled me in on details about the city and how it differed from Yellowstone. The Eagle began by telling me that we were living in Washington D.C. at a time called the Gilded Age. And during this era many advancements in industrialization and commercialization were occurring, which Yellowstone had avoided. The primary concern I addressed to the Eagle was the cause of all the commotion in the area. He told me that I was probably hearing automobiles. A man named Henry Ford was responsible for making automobiles more available to the public by lowering the cost through the assembly line and mass production. Through these two processes, Ford reduced the amount of time required to complete manufacturing objectives, but at the same time increased profits and productivity. Before the assembly line it took 16 hours to make one car, with it that time was cut in half. The concept was quickly copied by manufactures of all kinds. Henry Ford ran his company based on his belief that "a market is never saturated with a good product, but it is very quickly saturated with a bad one."[12] Most of the cars roaming Washington were called Model T's, which Ford introduced in 1908. Between 1908 and 1928 Ford sold 15 million Model T's! The assembly line was a huge reason why he sold so
many automobiles. While the automobile used to be limited only to the wealthy, Ford changed that by pricing cars at only 600$.[13]

Model T or "Tin Lizzie"


The Eagle then told me about why there were so many people living in this one area. In our entire lifetime in Yellowstone, we had only seen a few humans. But Washington was a city. People came from all over the country to find work in factories, such as the ones that manufacture cars. The Eagle was particularly interested in the way that these people dressed. The Eagle and I were used to fellow creatures not covering themselves with anything other than their fur, but these humans wore all kinds of vibrant clothes and materials. As uncomfortable and stiff clothing appeared on the humans, the Eagle told me that there had been a minor improvement from years before. There was now a greater variety in the clothing that people wore, especially women. Ladies started wearing narrower dresses that had a cone rather than bell shaped bottom. What probably looked most discomforting in my opinion was the tiny waist and the corset styles. Mme. Gaches-Sarraute developed the corset in 1900 and it was rapidly accepted by all women. These ladies wore corsets that sucked in their chests and stomachs, as well as made their waists appear exceptionally slim. Even when women wanted to perform athletic exercises like biking, they still wore tight corsets with long, cumbersome skirts.


  1. ^ "Hunter Conservationist in History" accessed May 11, 2011,
  2. ^ "National Zoo Fact and Figures" accessed May 11, 2011,
  3. ^ "Hunter Conservationist in History" accessed May 12, 2011,
  4. ^ "Map of National Zoo in Washington DC" accessed May 23, 2011,
  5. ^ "Big Horn Sheep, Mt. Washburn Summit" accessed May 12, 2011,
  6. ^ "Bighorn" accessed May 12, 2011,
  7. ^
    "Alexander Graham Bell" accessed May 14, 2011,
  8. ^ "The History of AT&T" accessed May 14, 2011,
  9. ^ "Communication Revolution of the 19th Century" accessed May 14, 2011,
  10. ^
    "The History of AT&T" accessed May 14, 2011,
  11. ^
    "Alexander Graham Bell" accessed May 14, 2011,
  12. ^
    "Brainy Quote" accessed May 14, 2011,
  13. ^
    American History, s.v. "Ford Motor Company," accessed May 14, 2011,
  14. ^
    American History, s.v. "Ford Motor Company," accessed May 14, 2011,
  15. ^
    "The Assemby Line" accessed May 16, 2011,
  16. ^
    "Effective Tailor Suits" accessed May 15, 2011,
  17. ^
    "Women Biking" accessed May 16, 2011,