“Strong, ambitious wild animals such as lions, which until now have hoped for fame only in the circus or on the vaudeville stage, have found a new field for exercising their talent. A private dramatic school has been established for them near Fort Lee, New Jersey. Paul Bourgeois, a young French animal tamer, first thought of teaching jungle inhabitants to appear before the camera for the ‘movies.’ ”

Scientific American, May 1914

More gems from Scientific American’s first 175 years can be found on our shiny anniversary page.