Friday, June 30, 2006

To Old Texan/ Hunt Bros. Circus 1953


The three elephants at left are "Dolly", "Blanche" and "Jewel" all purchased from the Ringling Show at various times over the years, starting with "Dolly" in 1927.
In 1949 they purchased five punks that Louie Reed named "Chandre", "Sita", "Rani", "Muna" and "Dinnu", only four are included in this picture for some reason.
So they would have had the same eight elephants at the Palisades date you mentioned.

John Robinson's 10 Big Shows #1


What a magnificent picture. This band chariot allowed the musicians to be seated in stair step fashion. Turn of the century Americana at it's best.

John Robinson's 10 Big Shows #2


These beautiful vehicles would become obsolete when someone figured out that space on the flat cars could be saved if tableaux were used instead. They could carry a load inside as well as transport the band on top during parade.

John Robinson's 10 Big Shows #3


The train crew takes a break from unloading this tableau, long enough to pose for a picure in 1903.

John Robinson's 10 Big Shows #4


Tim Buckley on the horse in 1903, the three small elephants at left would eventually become the Robinson Military Elephants "Clara", "Petite" (Pitt) and "Tony" the young tuskers are "Tommy" and "Basil" and the two big elephants are "Tillie" and "Queen".
The show must have carried a lot of musicians in those days, in parades we see them on band wagons, horses and even an elephant, not to mention the clown band and side show band.

John Robinson's 10 Big Shows #5


Mounted band in paade Sept. 2, 1911 in Forrest City, Ark.

John Robinson's 10 Big Shows #6


Early morning picture with the big top going up in the background and seat lumber stacked up in front of that. Posing by the steam caliope is a musical act (banjo, accordian and guitar) but no idea how they fit into the sceme of things.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Cole Bros. Circus early 1940's #1


Yet more pictues from Mr. Hoffman.

Cole Bros. Circus early 1940's #2


Waiting for Spec.

Cole Bros. Circus early 1940's #3


Buried to the hub, send for an elephant.

Cole Bros. Circus early 1940's #4


"Blanche" to the rescue. Notice all the water buckets placed in position by the dressing room tent.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

More pictures from Mr. Hoffman


A publicity shot from Al G. Barnes Circus, maybe 1937-38. Elephant is "Big Jewel".

RBBB Hospital performance


This is a remarkable picture, taken in either 1948 or '49.
For many years while appearing in Madison Sq. Garden the Ringling Show would do a show for Belleview Hospital patients.
This is Hugo Schmitt's center ring act exiting with a walking long mount. The ramp in the foreground was used for the "leaps".

Ringling Quarters


This was a standard end ring act worked many years on the Ringling Show and seen here in a Sarasota practice session. I don't recognize the herd worker but the elephants are "Trilby", "Little Babe", "Little Ruth", "Marcella" and "Little Jewel".
With the excepion of Marcella, all these were Corporation elephants.

Ringling Quarters 1955


I bought this post card when I was in Sarasota with the show in 1957 and believe it was taken the same day as the picure above in 1955. The young man on top would be Hugo's teen-age son "Hugh" who recently wrote the book about his father.
I used to chat with him a good bit but I havn't seen him since. His name then was Uvey, pronounced "Oo-vey".

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

One year old today!


And ready to embark on a career as a Buccaneer Cheerleader.

From the Hoffman collection.


You West Coast guys should enjoy these Hollywood stills.

"The Big Circus" 1959


Vincent Price, Gilbert Roland, Rhonda Fleming, Victor Mature, Red Buttons, Kathryn Grant, David Nelson and Peter Lorre.

"Billy Rose's Jumbo" 1962


Jimmy Durante and "Sidney", and as mentioned before, this elephant was included in a group of punks imported by Wm. P. Hall in 1925, of which two were named for Hall's daughters "Sidney" and "Wilma".

"Rings Around the World" 1966


This movie was narrated by Don Ameche and was produced as the result of his popular TV Show "International Showtime".

Monday, June 26, 2006

American Circus Corporation/ Peru, Indiana


I'm surprised at the interest in zebras. The dress and demeanor of this trainer, makes it look like a walk in the park.

The Herriott Family #1


More pictures from Mr. Hoffman, these first three, I assume he took himself.
This would be when the Herriotts returned to Bababoo in the 1970's with elephants leased from D.R. Miller. I'm guessing "Marie", "Lydia" and "Minnie".
John and Mary Ruth with daughters Laura and Cindy.

The Herriott Family #2

The Herriott Family #3

The Blonde Bombshell!


This is John's cousin Gee Gee Engesser. I believe these are 3 former Cole Show elephants leased to Norman Anderson (Wallace & Clark Circus) in 1953 "Little Babe", "Big Jenny" and "Tessie".
The only thing is, I can't figure out that headpiece.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

To Frank C.


Buffalo Bill Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World.
Company's presentation to their Chief on his birthday. Olympia, London, Feb. 26, 1903.
Click on this picture and it will enlarge.

I might add that Col. Cody and I share the same birthday.

To elephantsandy


This picture taken at the Louisville winter quarters about 1941 so that hitch must have lasted colse to five years. The lady a left is Mickey Freeman, wife of equestrian and later clown, Freddy Freeman. The driver is elephant man Ted White.

Cole Bros. Circus 1930's #1


These are the Hoffman pictures I mentioned yesterday. This zebra hitch was more death defying than Clyde Beatty's cat act. Here we see Jean Allen at the reins after making Spec successfully.
This hitch had long since been discontinued when we came to the Cole Show but I recall someone telling my father of it's final appearance, when exiting Spec it took part of the band stand and several musicians out the back door with it.

Cole Bros. Circus 1930's #2


As Gloria Swanson said in Sunset Boulevard, "They don't make faces like this anymore!".

Cole Bros. Circus 1930's #3


That's the Garland Entry going in the back door, I never saw this done. Two riders hold each an end of those flexible poles and all the horses entertwine amongst each other as they pass thru the arena. Maybe someone can explain it better.
In the foreground is one of the old Barnum & Bailey parade floats, having just completed Spec.

Cole Bros. Circus 1930's #4


This is the Black Smith and Maintainence Area on the Cole Show. You can see a Caterpiller parked with other transportation equipment outside the tent.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

A Good Break!

Shannon's days as a commuter are over, his room is all set up and starting Monday he will be working for Brighthouse out of his home. The Company issued a special phone line, computer and head set. Not only does it eliminate the drive to St. Pete five days a week but enables him to add two hours of work each day to his income.

In a related matter, I have recently received some excellent pictures from D. Hoffman ranging from the Cole Show in the 30's and 40's to movie and TV stills but was unable to move them from the eMail file to "Hello". Shannon took one look at the situation and tried to explain to me things like "GPEGS", etc. but to make a long story short, he says it will only take a few minutes to adapt things and I will be able to send them out starting tomorrow.

Bunni Bartok #1


I received these pictures several days ago from Bunni's friends Sue and Fred Menke and decided to show them today since she will receive a Memorial Celebration this afternoon in Sarasota at the Palms Funeral Home at 4 PM.
There will be a Reception at the Showfolks Club following the Service.

Bunni Bartok #2

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Hagenbeck-Wallace Program 1931 #1


Display No. 1 A beautiful, spectacular, romantic Pageant. A colorful fantasy of the blossom scented Orient. A Kingdom where the magic romance weaves it's web of golden dreams, it's lure of love an beauty, song and dances of eternal youth will live on forever in the "GOLDEN ORIENT".
Written and Directed by Mr. Rex de Rosselli.
Roy de Lano, Announcer-----Harry MacFarlan, Equestrian Director------Eddie Woeckener, Musical Diector.

Display No. 2
Mr. Dewey Butler (dogs and ponies)-----Capt. Bernardi (polar bears in the arena)-----
Mr. Ed Davis (dogs, ponies and mules).

Display No. 3
Miss Alice Anderson (elephant and pony)-----------Miss Billie Burton (elephand and pony).
On the Hippodrome track the only mother and baby hippopotamus before the public.

Display No. 4
Miss Anna Butler (pony drill)------Mr. Bernardi (mixed jungle beasts in the arena)------
Miss Peggy King (pony drill).

Display No. 5
A mid-air melange. A coterie of fair performers on swinging aerial ladders.
Finishing with daring heel and toe drops and catches by Mr. Frank Shepard.

Hagenbeck-Wallace Program 1931 #2


Display No. 6
The sensation of all ages. The Human Pendulum. A human places his head into the monsterous mouth of a mighty elephantand is carried, while suspended in mid air, by his neck.
Mr. Cheerful Gardner.

Display No. 7
The Ernestos------(European jockey riders)------The Famous Handleys

Display No. 8
The greatest wild animal presentation ever witnessed. Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus takes pleasure to present the youngest and most fearless trainer in the world. A mere youth, he battles with death every performance with Royal Bengal, Siberian, Sumatra tigers in the same cage wih black maned forest lions and lionesses. Thirty royal beasts of the jungle. The great and only person to master these jungle beasts. Mr. Clyde Beatty

Display No. 9
Miss LaRue------------(Loop trapeze)------------Miss Orman

Display No. 10
Hagenbeck-Wallace presens a novelty, Mr. Eddie Reece, a diminutive man, who allows a heavy automobile to run at full speed over his unprotected body.

Hagenbeck-Wallace Program 1931 #3


Display No. 11
Clown Band with Hickville crack music tooters and Maggie the singing mule.

Display No. 12
Three rings of comedy acrobatics and juggling.
The O'Neal Trio------------The Juggling Clarkes------------The Trio Fonzal

Display No. 13
Clown Alley celebrates with giant firecrackers.

Display No. 14
Three rings of performing elephants under the direction of Cheerful Gardner and concluding with a long mount- 100 tons of pachyderms.

Display No. 15
Held only by their teeth- dainty butterflies sail through space like birds.
The Rowland sisters------------The Howard Sisters------------The Mayfield Sisters

Hagenbeck-Wallace Program 1931 #4


Display No. 16
Earl Shipley and his gosh-darn puddle jumping Ford in a panic- a lizzie that just won't behave.

Display No. 17
A display of living statues in reproductions of the masterpieces of famous sculptors.

Display No. 18
Concert announcement- introducing rodeo champions from the Golden West.

Display No. 19
From England comes the famous Hanneford Riders, a family of equestriennes who have no equal. Featuring the original Poodles Hanneford, the world's greatest riding comedian.
Positively the greatest company of riders ever seen in this or any other counry. Watch closely.

Display No. 20
Three rings of highly educated liberty horses in groupings and maneuvers.
Mr. Dewey Butler------------Rhoda Royal------------Mr. Ed Davis

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Hagenbeck-Wallace Program 1931 #5


Display No. 21
The sensation of all sensations, The Famous Neiss Troupe, performing on the high wire.

Display No. 22
Poodles and Otto- exponents of the manly boxing art in comedy battle.

Display No. 23
Hagenbeck-Wallace high school horses in a surpurb menage offering. Featuring twenty five Blue Ribbon winners ridden by a bevy of beautiful girls.

Display No. 24
A goofy clown riot and walk-around.

Display No. 25
The Flying Shepards--------------------The Flying Clarkonians

Display No. 26 (Races on the Hippodrome Track)
1. Horses high jumping over hurdles.
2. Gentlemen flat races.
3. Pony and monkey races.
4. Liberty race.
5. Roman standing races.

Display No. 27
An act that has made the world gasp.The Great Wilno, a human being shot into outer space with terrific force from the mouth of a monster cannon.

(End of Program)

Wild West Rodeo. Featuring Earl Sutton and his congress of wild west cowboy and cowgirl champions in native pastimes of the fast-fading old west.
Mr. Tagesen, Pacific Coast champion wrestler, who meets all comers.

Another odd and end


This just in from Eric Beheim but no mention of whom Smokey and Johnny have sandwiched in between.

Odds and ends #1


This picture from Bill Strong offers a challange. I know most of the people, I wonder if anyone recognizes them all.

Odds and ends #2


This interesting picture from BJ shows the Ringling Show 1943 Spec lining up in the back yard. It was supposed to be a replica of an old time circus parade called "Hold Your Horses" which is exactly what they did since most of the baggage stock had long since been eliminated.
Consequently elephants were used but for some reason without blankets. These teams are easily identified "Eva" and "Myrtle" at left and "Josky" and "Tony" at right.
Walter McLain put most of these teams together during the years they worked loading and unloading the train.

Odds and ends #3


I recently received a request from Ed Meals for a picture for next October's Emmett Kelly Tent meeting. I decided on this one even tho it's 12 years already, time is flying.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Bostock & Wombwell Animal Show #1


Capt. Jack Bonavita with a group of lions featured with the Frank C. Bostock Wild Animal Arena.
Originated by E.H. Bostock and George Wombwell, famous British Menagerists, in the 1870's.

Bostock & Wombwell Animal Show #2


A good trurn out welcomes the show on it's arrival into town in 1907, with the added bonus of having their picture taken. The photographer must have just said "Smile!".
The scene is quite chaotic, since the baggage stock has been unhitched this might be the lot right in the center of town.

On the back of the picture is this peculiar notation:
"Living wagon at Bensons, World of Mirth had another until 45 or '46. Don't know where it went".

Bostock & Wombwell Animal Show #3


This picture is dated 1897 on what appears to be a pretty chilly day in England as the show moves overland.

Bostock & Wombwell Animal Show #4

Monday, June 19, 2006

Milwaukee Parade 1986 #1


I never saw the Great Milwaukee Parade, when we were at Baraboo we always remained behind to keep the Museum going. The only exception was 1986 but again I never got to see the event since we were in it.
Paul Ingressia just sent me this picture of us exiting the back gate that year, Milwaukee bound.