Part of the mammoth craze of 1801-1802:
It was only the world’s second reconstruction of a fossil species (the one prior attempt being a decidedly less thrilling giant ground sloth in Madrid), and it became a national sensation, with word spreading until “the masses of the people were now even more eager than the scientists to view the great American wonder,” according to Peale biographer (and descendant) Charles Coleman Sellers. “The mere idea of bigness stirred every heart.” Peale’s “mammoth” would turn out to be a mastodon, but “mammoth” was the word on every tongue, gaining overnight “a fresh and spectacular currency.” A Philadelphia baker offered “Mammoth Bread.” In Washington, a man who proclaimed himself a “Mammoth Eater” dispatched 42 eggs in ten minutes, and a New Yorker grew a 20-pound “mammoth” radish. Knowing of President Thomas Jefferson’s long interest in all things mammoth, the women of Cheshire, Massachusetts, presented him with a 1,230-pound “Mammoth Cheese” on New Year’s Day 1802.
Previously: The Cheese President