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Man and Tusk, Ivoryton, Connecticut
1890

An industry built on the upper incisor of the African elephant
Employee Will Shailer poses with an elephant tusk in front of the Comstock, Cheney & Co. ivory vault in Ivoryton, CT. Ivoryton was the center of the U.S. commercial ivory industry from the early 1800s through the 1950s. Companies like Comstock, Cheney imported tusks from Africa and cut them into thin pieces for use as piano keys ("ivories"), which were then supplied to all the major piano manufacturers in the country. Other uses for ivory included billiard balls, knife handles, and ornamental carvings.

Notes
Elephant tusks from Africa (the source of most commercially used ivory) average about six feet in length and weigh about 50 pounds.
The phrase "tickling the ivories" for piano playing stems from the earlier use of ivory for piano keys.
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