“Largest Cow in the World”

Litho. Dept. International Stock Food Co. , INTERNATIONAL STOCK FOOD COW / LARGEST COW IN THE WORLD. Minneapolis, Minn., [ca. 1901] .
Chromolithograph, 20 1/8"h x 27 1/8"w plus margins

A charming advertisement touting the virtues of International Stock Food, featuring “the largest cow in the world:”

“At 6 years of age she weighed 2970. Height, 6 feet. Length, 10 feet. Girth, 10 feet. She eats “International Stock Food” every day[.]

“This cow has a fine coat of deep red hair an has a strong resemblance to the short-horns…. She is very gentle and seems to enjoy the universal attention she attracts. When led out in the street people crowd around her by the hundreds, and thousands visit the barn where she is located when not on parade…. She is such a wonder that people talk about her for weeks after seeing her on the street.”

The International Stock Food Company was established by Marion Willis Savage in 1886 and remains in business to this day. The firm produced and marketed animal feed and veterinary medicines at its headquarters in Minneapolis and also had plants in Memphis and several European countries. Among collectors it is also known for having produced dozens of charming and colorful envelopes, letterheads and posters featuring farm animals thriving on its products. Savage’s greatest fame, however, came through his ownership of the fabulously successful pacer Dan Patch, who in 1906 was the first to run the mile in 1:55.

This poster may be dated to ca. 1901, as a similar ad appeared in The Horse Review for May 14 of that year. This writer has been unable to verify the Stock Food company’s claims regarding their cow’s absolute or relative size.


Mends to separations at old folds, but clean with vivid color