Canyon John

The April 1948 issue of The American Girl magazine features Margaret Leighton’s short story “The Legacy of Canyon John”. A California condor is the heart of this story and one can be seen in Roy Clinker’s accompanying illustrations.

Five years later, “The Legacy of Canyon John” was reprinted in a collection of short stories and with new art work by Robert Sinnott. This multi-volume story collection, edited by Marjorie Barrows, was titled The Children’s Hour (Spencer, 1953). Leighton’s short story is in volume 7: Favorite Mystery Stories.

In this post, I describe Leighton’s story (avoiding spoilers), show the condor illustrations of Clinker and Sinnott, and note how I found the two versions of “The Legacy of Canyon John”.

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Bozo the killer

The feature-length silent film The Night Cry premiered in 1926. The star and hero of the movie was the famous dog Rin Tin Tin, who had top billing. The villain was a California condor, who received no acknowledgment by name or photograph in the movie’s credits or on the movie’s poster.

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Century-old books for younger children

How was knowledge of natural history conveyed to children in the past? Books can provide insights into the nature of the “environmental education” available to our great- … -grandparents.

In this post I note 3 books for younger children. Only one of these refers specifically to the California condor. As is typical for the time, the other 2 refer to the “condor”, by which they mean the Andean condor. Even in the USA, the California condor was not as well known as the Andean condor a century ago. Nevertheless, I consider all 3 books here because they each take different approaches to conveying understanding to children.

01 Pictures and stories of animals for the little ones

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Yet another early-20th-century poem

In 1928, Harriet Williams Myers, then president of the California Audubon Society, authored a book in advance of the selection of California’s state bird. The book’s purpose is made plain at the start:

This booklet, concerning twenty-two birds that have been suggested as candidates for State Bird, was written to fill the demand of teachers, children, and others interested in participating in the vote, who were unable to dig out the information in books already published, and wished something simple and easily understood …

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