Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Holy Cow! More about Elsie

So apparently, I was pretty ignorant regarding the yesteryear fame of Elsie the cow.

During my research yesterday, I realized that I was much more familiar with her in this way:

Elsie's appearance in the 1940 film Little Men was her first and only role, but her fame as the official face of the Borden company is easily seen by the abundance of other goods which bear her likeness:

              comic books                                      board games                                      sugar and cream dishes

                                pull toys                                        stuffed animals                            cook books

 Even though she was quite famous, and made alot of money, she was unfailingly patriotic. Like other well-known Americans, she made the best of wartime, and was featured in a campaign explaining shortages and rationing to consumers.

So there ya go. Once again, my obsession with old movies has launched me on a tangential journey on which I discover some little interesting tidbit. 'Elsie' was the name bestowed upon her after she was chosen to represent Borden's at the 1939 New York World's Fair. 

Here she is siting for her official portrait. 

The back story on the cow, whom the crowds favored so much that the company was inclined to purchase her from her original owners for future use, is that she came from Elm Hill Farm in Brookfield, MA. Her real name was "You'll Do Lobelia."

This has to be the most glamorous cow that's ever graced this green planet:  She was so popular as Elsie, Borden decided to give her a boudoir and a cross-country tour. She traveled first class on trains and chartered airplanes.  

She even had her own her four- poster canopied bed!

In Hollywood, she was welcomed by a brass band and such luminaries as Kay Francis, Spencer Tracy, Frank Sinatra and John Wayne. 

It's very reassuring for this animal lover to see know that she had a good life, because as any star will tell you, fame has a price. On April 16, 1941, while on her way to Shubert Alley in the Theater District of New York City, her truck was hit from behind by another truck while stopped at a traffic light on Route 25 in Rahway, NJ. She suffered neck and spine injuries and was returned to her home at the Walker-Gordon Farm in Plainsboro, NJ. She could not be saved, and she was buried on the farm.

Would you lie to know more about famous animals?

Perhaps the next installment should focus on Jimmy the Raven.  .  .

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