Thursday, 28 January 2010

Albert Cropper: Monster Stopper!

During the late1800’s in Cthornwall, the ‘bug’ hunter Albert Cropper was a familiar figure tramping the byways and cliff paths of the county, peddling his services in much the same way as itinerant knife grinders or mole catchers of the time.

His father operated a night soil collection business in Redruth . As an offshoot to this already dangerous work, Albert became the family firm’s parabiologist, specialising after a couple of grim encounters on the early morning collection round involving a Devonian tape lizard and a couple of giant stool grubs.

Seeing the potential for travel and the occasional balloon ride out to the Scilly Isles, Albert went freelance in 1879 with the aid of a sponsorship deal from Sir Richard Trevithick , the famed Cthornish inventor, mining engineer and monster trap designer.

This particular image was made as part of the 1885 Eldritch Expedition to Bodmin Moor and its interior, to which Albert was co-opted by local magistrates as Lady Elizabeth’s native tracker. It shows Albert presenting a captive grockle mite after an emergency roadside extraction from a Belgian tourist who had visited the shire without first taking the right inoculations.

Poster and print available at Red Bubble.

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