This blog post documents my unsuccessful software archeology attempt to find the origin and the author of the famous PostScript tiger colorful vector graphics. Get the (mostly unchanged) EPS file from the Ghostscript SVN repository, here.
The earliest Ghostscript version containing the tiger I could dig up is version 2.6.1 (5/28/93) [download] in Slackware Linux 1.1.2. FYI The earliest Ghostscript version in Debian is 2.6.1 as well [download].
The image itself contains the comment
%%CreationDate: 4/12/90 3:20 AM, so the earliest possible Ghostscript version that can contain it is 2.0 (released on 9/12/90) — but I wasn't able to find a download link for that Ghostscript. The author and the copyright is not indicated. The only description is found in the Ghostscript
history.doc file, saying tiger.ps - A dramatic colored picture of a tiger's head.
Even Wikipedia doesn't specify the origin of the tiger graphics. All I could find is this question asking where it comes from.
Here is the relevant part of the EPS header in the
%%Creator: Adobe Illustrator(TM) 1.2d4 %%For: OpenWindows Version 2 %%Title: tiger.eps %%CreationDate: 4/12/90 3:20 AM %%DocumentProcSets: Adobe_Illustrator_1.2d1 0 0 %%DocumentSuppliedProcSets: Adobe_Illustrator_1.2d1 0 0
What I've learned: Linux distributions (especially Debian and Slackware) are very useful sources of the source code of ancient versions of some free software.
The origin of the tiger thus remains unsolved.