The Peabody Memphis opened in 1925. In the 1930s, the general manager thought it would be humorous to put five live mallard ducks in the hotel fountain. In 1940, a bellman, Edward Pembroke, a previous circus animal trainer, offered to care for and train the ducks. Soon after he became Duckmaster. He was Duckmaster for over forty years. Since then, Duckmasters have come and gone to replace him, keeping the tradition alive. Every morning at 11:00am, the Duckmaster helps the ducks take the elevator from their penthouse onto the elevator, and down to the fountain in the lobby. Every afternoon at 5:00pm, the Duckmaster takes the ducks upstairs for the remainder of the evening. We arrived at 4:15pm, with just enough time to get an epic viewing spot near the elevator. The space really fills up fast. It was entertaining to watch the red carpet be rolled out, see security keep the crowd in control, and listen to the Duckmaster talk about the history and the training of the ducks. They are wild ducks that have the position for three months before new ducks are trained to replace them. I can’t imagine that adapting to the real world after three months at the Peabody is an easy adjustment.
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Well done post. I love A1’s well dressed anticipation. So dang sweet. I knew this history but I have never seen it documented in photos. I love it all.
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