The number 47 is shrouded in numerous myths and tales that not only pose conundrums but sometimes also lead us off into quite mysterious worlds. Legend has it that the number 47 came to the forefather of Monkey 47, Montgomery Collins, in a dream one night, whereupon he developed his famous recipe for Schwarzwald Dry Gin based on 47 hand-picked ingredients. According to tradition, the “Zum Wilden Affen [The Wild Monkey]” country guest house where everything began was then to be referred to by the locals simply as “House 47”. A fact that also had an emotional impact on “Stein the silverback”, who came into the world in 1972 at 2:47 pm.
During our investigations into the number 47, we unearthed things that should not be put down to pure coincidence. For example, the Hawaiian language has 47 words for banana (lest we forget: a monkey’s favourite food). In 1947, Earl Tupper established the world-famous Tupperware brand (eponymous parties that pay homage to these incredible plastic containers are popular worldwide). The number 47 – and its inverse 74, too – is significant in Star Trek (and as self-confessed Trekkies, this ties in here with a troop of monkeys). Politician and Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in 1947. As was the author of best-selling horror books, Stephen King. 47 kilometres equal 470,000 centimetres. The group of German authors who accepted Hans Werner Richter’s invitation to form a literary association (1947–1967) were known as Group 47. (Its aim was to promote the talents of young, unknown writers and to discuss and present contemporary texts.) Gunter Sachs’s brother was aged just 47 when he died in a tragic avalanche accident. In the 47th book of Enid Blyton’s legendary “Famous Five” series of children’s classics, the young detectives are on the trail of a singing cabinet. 47 is the 15th primary number and lies directly between the numbers 46 and 48 (which is perhaps not quite so surprising). 47 is the international dialling code for Norway. And last but not least, the chemical element silver has the atomic number 47 – and because not all that glisters is silver, Monkey 47 is also constantly striving to ensure that it remains a shining light of inspiration.
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