Tuesday, February 21, 2006

To Dick Flint


Most elephant men ride which ever way is most comfortable but if the animal ridden has a big head and an easy gait (like Anna May) you can sit forward like a rocking chair.
When you worked a team like the men shown above, you had to sit facing the off-lead elephant on your right. This enabled you to reach over and steer both elephants to the right or left plus you can easily look back to see if the vehicle in tow is clearing the corners.

8 comments:

Bob Cline said...

OK I grew up loving the classic circus and worked on the truck shows. But anybody can admire the structural strength of these wagons to be fully loaded, bogged down in mud and have 6 elephants heaving against it. Something has to give and quite frankly most of the time the wagon did not fail. There's not a vehicle being made today that could stand up against those wagon's integrity.
Bob

Bob Cline said...

Buckles,
Do you know which show and which year this is taken ? Perhaps even the elephants names? It appears there is a male on the extreme left. Would the use of a male in a work team like this be unusual? Or would it simply depend on the individual animal?
Bob

Buckles said...

This is the Cole Show in 1939, the male is "George" who was among the elephants purchased from Hall when the show was framed in 1935.
All the Ringling and Corporation males were gone by this time and the reason this one remained is because of a good workout every day.

Anonymous said...

anyone who has not had the oppurtunity to ever ride on elephant,as to what it feels like.
Imagine sitting on someones shoulders and they are walking.Thats how it kind of feels like.

Anonymous said...

Whats the background of the Cole Bros. George?
I believe I read where he died of natural causes at the Cole Bros. winter quarters in Kentucky around the early 1940's.
I seem to rember reading about a George with the Forepaugh-Sells or Barnum&Bailey show around the early 1900's.If its the same George, he must have been one of the longest lived male elephant in America,I say at least 60 years old(if its the same George).

Buckles said...

GEORGE

1882-85 Adam Forepaugh Show
1886-90 Frank A. Robbins Show
(Leased from Forepaugh)
1891-94 Adam Forepaugh Show
1895 Philadelphia Qtrs.
(No final record)

GEORGE

1924-29 Wm.P. Hall Animal Farm
1930 Gentry Bros. Circus
(Sam B. Dill)
1931 Robbins Bros. Circus
(Sam B. Dill)
1932 Sam B. Dill Circus
1933-34 Wm.P. Hall Animal Farm
1935-37 Cole Bros. Circus
1938 Robbins Bros. Circus
(Atkins & Terrell)
1939-41 Cole Bros. Circus

(Died in Louisville Qtrs.
2/14/42)

Rebecca said...

About riding an elephant. It was never a thrill to ride on someones shoulders. Imegine[?] riding a balloon full oh heilium that has pulled loose from a hand holding it. Gives me a trill just thinking about it.

Anonymous said...

How about"Major" he was living in peacefull retirement all those years at the Hall farm in Lancaster Missouri,then the Cole Bros. bought the last of the Hall elephants around November 1935 and tried to make Major come out of retirement and back into show buisness.
He could not adjust so they took him out into the snow out of the old shoe factory building in Rochester Indiana and shot him in .
If he wasnt the biggest elephant in America,he had the biggest tusks.