The Phonograph School of Languages for Parrots

21 Jun

Atlas Obscura tells the remarkable story of Philadelphia’s Phonograph School of Languages for Parrots established in 1903:

One of the school’s most distinguished alums was a parrot that, in the morning, could tell the children in its house it was time for school and, at night, could “ask them, with a knowing look, if they have mastered their lessons and express the hope that they have been good scholars.” This bird belonged to an unnamed famous actress.

A woman named Mrs. Hope—the school’s founder and only teacher—started the academy because her husband, a bird seller, found that he could make 10 times the profit on a single parrot if it could talk. She wanted in.

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