Monday, April 30, 2012

1939 Barnett Bros. #1 (From Jim Elliott)

04-23-2012 04;15;18PM by bucklesw1
04-23-2012 04;15;18PM, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.

"Photos and comments by Harry Chipman."

1939 Barnett Bros. #2

04-23-2012 04;19;42PM by bucklesw1
04-23-2012 04;19;42PM, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.

"Advance Car #1 billing the Chicago area."

1939 Barnett Bros. #3

04-23-2012 04;17;46PM by bucklesw1
04-23-2012 04;17;46PM, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.

"Part of the Side Show banner line."

1939 Barnett Bros. #4

04-23-2012 04;23;04PM by bucklesw1
04-23-2012 04;23;04PM, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.
"The show carried nine elephants, a big herd for a mud show in those days.
This is Bert Pettus with some of the newly acquired Downie Bros. elephants. "Babe", "Marian", "Addie (Hattie), "Cora" and "Inez"."

1939 Barnett Bros. #5

04-23-2012 04;25;05PM by bucklesw1
04-23-2012 04;25;05PM, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.

"Old big top, got a new one the last week of the season."

"Something you don't see every open air doniker."

1939 Barnett Bros. #6

04-23-2012 04;29;31PM by bucklesw1
04-23-2012 04;29;31PM, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.

"Another angle of the working men's toilette should any Model Builders care to duplicate."

1939 Barnett Bros. #7

04-23-2012 04;31;48PM by bucklesw1
04-23-2012 04;31;48PM, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.

"After being cut down for a winter tour."

1940 York, SC #1 (From Buckles)

04-23-2012 12;14;37PM by bucklesw1
04-23-2012 12;14;37PM, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.
Same show new title.
I wonder what the "Independent Circus" refers to on this bill car? The John Ringling conglomerate no longer existed.
Most of my early memories of life come from York.

1940 York, SC #2

04-23-2012 04;08;14PM by bucklesw1
04-23-2012 04;08;14PM, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.
This looks like the other side of the same unit.

1940 York, SC #3

04-23-2012 04;05;42PM by bucklesw1
04-23-2012 04;05;42PM, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.

Charlie Campbell and "Alice"

Post Card

04-23-2012 04;10;33PM by bucklesw1
04-23-2012 04;10;33PM, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

"Great Expectations" (From Charles Dickens)

Scan10809 by bucklesw1
Scan10809, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.

"Further Elaboration" (From John Goodall)

jm17 by bucklesw1
jm17, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.

From Mark Rosenthal

Among the millions that entered America through the Port of New York in the 20th century, one group stood out in especially high relief. Some, in fact, were 17 feet tall.

Even the stodgy New York Times paid attention when a new shipment of animals landed, usually from Africa, most on their way to zoos around the country. The marvelous incongruity of such photogenic, sentient cargo on the industrial Brooklyn waterfront must have been a godsend to photographers more accustomed to shooting pallets full of flour and coffee sacks. However, the anthropomorphic news accounts and photo captions of the day could not fully cloak the hardships that some animals endured in crossing the seas. For instance, the giraffes pictured below had come through a storm in the Mozambique Channel so fierce that it smashed their crates on the deck of the freighter Lombok, granting them — at least briefly — the run of the ship. Five years later, in 1962, the same freighter took 50 days to reach New York from Cape Town, by way of the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean. Only one spur-winged goose died from a manifest that included five rhinoceroses, a lion named Tulla, four elephants and four giraffes and three zebras.

2012 Sailor Circus #34 (From Jim Cole)

2012 Sailor Circus #35

2012 Sailor Circus #36

2012 Sailor Circus #37

2012 Sailor Circus #38

2012 Sailor Circus #39

Albert White (From Mike Naughton)

Albert%20White by bucklesw1
Albert%20White, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.

From Buckles:
Albert was on the Cole Show the years we were there.
Whom in more recent times, Bobby Johnson always referred to as "Pretty Miss Flo" and described him as being extremely neat and polite but could be fussy about his dressing area in clown alley.
He owned a considerable collection of high heel shoes worn beneath his costumes that the audience never saw.
Bobby said that one day someone playing around' stepped on one of his rhinestone slippers and Flo screamed "Watch what you're doing you clumsy bitch!"
For a moment everyone was silent then roared in laughter since it was so out of character. He immediately apologized.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

2012 Sailor Circus #22 (From Jim Cole)

2012 Sailor Circus #23

2012 Sailor Circus #24

2012 Sailor Circus #25

2012 Sailor Circus #26

2012 Sailor Circus #27

2012 Sailor Circus #28

2012 Sailor Circus #29

2012 Sailor Circus #30

2012 Sailor Circus #31

2012 Sailor Circus #32

2012 Sailor Circus #33


Friday, April 27, 2012

To Harry Kingston

04-27-2012 10;20;52AM by bucklesw1
04-27-2012 10;20;52AM, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.

From Diane Richardson #1

photo-001 by bucklesw1
photo-001, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.

Here are a few pages from my Orton scrap book. I did it chronologically starting with Hiram Orton in 1853 as far as I could get photos and info to present day. It makes it nice to see visually the Orton Circus history from the beginning.

Thank you, Diane Richardson,( Sylvia Orton's Grand daughter. )

From Diane Richardson #2

photo by bucklesw1
photo, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.

From Diane Richardson #3

photo-010 by bucklesw1
photo-010, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.

From Diane Richardson #4

photo-009 by bucklesw1
photo-009, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.

From Diane Richardson #5

photo by bucklesw1
photo, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.

From Diane Richardson #6

photo-007 by bucklesw1
photo-007, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.

From Diane Richardson #7

photo-006 by bucklesw1
photo-006, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.

From Diane Richardson #8

photo-005 by bucklesw1
photo-005, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.


From Diane Richardson #9

photo-004 by bucklesw1
photo-004, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.

From Diane Richardson #10

photo-003 by bucklesw1
photo-003, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.

From Diane Richardson #11

photo-002 by bucklesw1
photo-002, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

From Henry Schroer

helen-schofield-729-420x0 by bucklesw1
helen-schofield-729-420x0, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.

Hi Buckles

Two days ago a Vet that opened a zoo for abandoned exotic animals got killed by the African Elephant

Jumbo that used to belong to a small show here, owned by Tony Redcliff. All he had was a pony act, 3 lions, juggling, a single trapeze and the Elephant.

The Elephant was a bit on the nutty side but so was the owner. He used to be a groom on Bullens Circus in Australia in the fifty's

but had no Idea about disciplining him. He aske me ones what he can do about it that the Elephant pushes him ones in a while

and I said push back. The pony's didn't do anything but run around and came to the middle for a snack and the Lions only went up to the props ones

following a trace of pieces of meat. So as you can see no Idea about animal training. I was always surprised that the Elephant didn't do any damage

before that but he always kept him chained up in the truck. When Harry Weber brought the Elephant from him when the show went belly he hired Redcliff as the handler.

When the where in winter quarters for a while the poor animal bang arranged the side of the truck day and night because he would have liked to spend some time outside I assume.

There was a outside enclosure with electric fence but he only let him out for about two hours a day because he had to sit next to the pen and watch. If someone would walk

past the enclosure the elephant would come up charging and scared the shit out of people.So it was to no surprise that the animal was not all ok in the head. Neither is he.

After Harry Weber spend $250 000 on a new truck, I think I send you some picture of it one time, with hydraulic outside platform where the Elephant could walk in and out of the truck without been supervised

and a biiiiig outside enclosure with fence and electric wire he still kept him in the truck and only let him out ones in a while. Of course the animal rights people used to come and protest just like the do in any other

country he used to get his bull horn out and told them to get the f..... of the lot. So Harry had enough after a little more then a year and wanted to get red of the animal. I told him from beginning not to get

the animal and not to get involved with this guy but he had this Idea that the elephant would be a big public magnet and did it anyway. He always thought that I would help him if he had any problems but

I told him from beginning that I wasn't going to get involved in any of that. And I didn’t. Thru the SPCA we found this zoo and the owner was a very knowledgeable and well respected Vet that worked for the bigger zoos

here in NZ. She moved mountain's in order to get a enclosure build and the elephant ended up with a 1 acre all enclosed with post, steel cable enforcement and triple electric fence. We left the truck there for a year

until she had enough money to build a barn but the elephant never went back inside, not even if it rain. There was some trees in the enclosure for her to get protection, a pool and a sandpit. Heaven for a animal that has

been mistreated for so many year. Harry and I took the elephant over there and I told her never to go in the enclosure with the elephant because it could be danger's for her. That was three years ago. I went to see them

a few times but have not been back there for quite some time. Looks like she gotten more confided and did stared interacting with the animal, nobody knows exactly what happen but it looks like to me that the animal

did got aggressive and attacked her, very tragic. And Redcliff got on TV and all he had to say that it was all her fault because she had no experience and did not consult him about handling her etc..... No sorry or feel bad.

He wanted to go to the enclosure but the police didn’t let him go in. I guess the going to end up killing the poor thing even do he can be handled from the outside with no direct contact necessary. The want to try go get him

to the US to one of the Elephant sanctuary's. Sorry this email is so long but I felt I had give you my point of view why this could have happen. The link on the bottom you just have to hold down Ctrl and then click on the link.

Cheers Henry
Killer elephant could be put down

By the way I am back on Chemo again, the gave me two more years to live but I told them to FUCK.....OFF!

From Dave Price

PosR&Crid by bucklesw1
PosR&Crid, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.

Not as good as chariot racing but still...

From Fredrick Neill #1

04-25-2012 11;24;19PM by bucklesw1
04-25-2012 11;24;19PM, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.

R.F. 'Tody' Hamilton did almost anything to get publicity for Barnum & Bailey, however, I find this piece impossible to even contemplate. Slightly shortened by me, the full item appeared in 'The World,' New York Sunday February 7 1897:-

Fierce Chariot Race between Lions & Tigers - Novel and thrilling Wild Beast Spectacle in the Arena of the Barnum-Bailey Circus.

The chariot race so graphically described by Gen. Lew Wallace in 'Ben Hur,' is to be outdone. Teams of lions & tigers are to engage in a thrilling test of speed while hitched to chariots. And Johanna, the intelligent chimpanzee, is to drive the lions.

All of this will take place in Madison Square Garden, and if the spectacle of four tawny kings of the forest and the same number of striped tigers racing around the arena does not sufficiently stir the blood of the onlookers, there will be a climax that will recall the days of ancient Rome, when Christian martyrs were rended by fierce, half-starved beasts.

Already the plans for the unique race have been completed, and the eight savage beasts that will participate are under training in the show's winter quarters. The first public performance will take place at Madison Square Garden. Afterwards it will be the 'star' feature of the circus on tour.

William McKay is training the tigers and GEorge Conklin has charge of the lions. Each day there have been trial races. Thus far the tigers have developed the most speed. Unless the lions become more swift of foot it will be necessary to handicap the tigers in some way. The teams are hitched up much as are horses, and are guided by reins in the same manner. The preliminary training has progressed admirably, and when the show opens visitors will see for the first time the strongest and most thrilling race ever run in America, a race much as Nero never imagined in the golden days of his reign. The appearance of these wild lions & tigers as they dash around the track, urged to their utmost speed by the drivers' whips, will stir the blood of the most jaded circus-goer.


As a finale to this unique race it is proposed to give an imitation of the form of amusement in vogue in ancient Rome, when early Christian martyrs were fed to hungry wild animals. After the race is finished the tigers & lions will be turned into cages in one of the rings. In these will be dummies of men and women as life-like as they can be made. Inside the dummies will be the fresh meat intended for the dinners of the animals, and in order to get the meat they will have to rend the dummy figures to pieces.... As they will be hungry the way in which they will attack the dummy figures will leave little to be desired by those who want a realistic picture of the 'sports' that were once popular in Rome.

It is altogether possible that Johanna, the chimpanzee, that has been a feature for several years will drive the lions. Conklin has had her as an understudy during the training of the teams, and she has taken a great interest in the work. She sometimes deserts her team when the tigers, driven by Mr McKay, pass her, and jumps into the chariot behind the figure.

Johanna does not like to ride behind. So long as her team is in front she sticks to her post, but when McKay passes her she abandons her tawny charges and goes to ride with him. McKay say he hopes to teach her to remain in her post no matter what....

On several occasions when she has deserted her team the lions have become tangled up, and great confusion ensued. It is necessary to drive the animals carefully or they become involved in a tangle and it takes considerable time to straighten out.

I am far from sure I would have wanted ANYTHING to do with the idea for MANY, MANY reasons! - however, it was published in a big newspaper so must be true [I am sure that Tody spun the text, however the drawings, done on February 3, were by Miss Connard and H. Pruett Share].

Anyone willing to volunteer to harness the lions? untangle their reins? or - even sit in the 1897 tour tent....

From Frederick Neill #2

Johanna%20dark by bucklesw1
Johanna%20dark, a photo by bucklesw1 on Flickr.

2012 Sailor Circus #14 (From Jim Cole)